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objection, or feel the least opposition against the doctrine of election.
VIII. The opposition which exists against the doctrine of election, arises wholly from selfishness. This doctrine is not opposed be. cause it is false. They who oppose the doctrine delight in error and deceit. If the doctrine of election were false, it would be pleasing to the hearts of such persons. Nor is this doctrine opposed because there is not sufficient and abundant evidence that it is true. For it is as evident as any doctrine of Christianity. It is as evident as the perfections and existence of the living and true God. The ignorance which exists in the minds of many persons respecting this doctrine, arises from their enmity against it. But their enmity against this doctrine does not arise from their ignorance. For how can a person hate an object, of which he has no knowledge ? Nor is this doctrine hated because it affords any encouragement or inducement to commit iniquity. For truth is always pointed, as a sharp two-edged sword, against sin. And no truth is more pointed against the enemies of God, or more painful to unholy minds than the doctrine of election. No person can understand this doctrine, and realize how it affects his character and interest, and yet be an enemy to God, without the keenest anguish. It is because this doctrine cuts the sinner's heart, and gives him no peace until he is reconciled to God, that it is hated by the wicked. It is because it shows that God and his designs, his law and his decrees, his gospel and his whole conduct, are arrayed against sinners, that they hate the doctrine of election. It is because the sinner sees that ev. ery thing in the universe is armed against his present peace, and his eternal felicity, if he continues to oppose the decrees of God, that he arouses all his strength, and summons all his wrath against the doctrines of election and reprobation. Sinners hate these doctrines because they show the folly, the weakness, the madness, and the misery of the enemies of God. From the selfish feelings of the wicked, arise all the enmity, and all the opposition that ever existed on earth, or in hell, against the decrees of God respecting the salvation and damnation of immortal souls. The divine decrees give a death blow to the selfish hopes, the selfish wishes, the selfish prospects, and the selfish interests of sinners. God says to every rational creature, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
possesses the carnal mind, which is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. The sinner hates God and the law from his total selfishness. From his total selfishness, he hates the gospel of Jesus Christ. From his total selfishness, he hates the whole conduct of God. And from his total selfishness, he hates the divine decrees. Sinners
cannot bear that God should, for the glory of his holy name, which they supremely hate, sacrifice their selfish interest, which they supremely love. As the doctrines of election and reprobation exhibit the character of God in the fullest and clearest manner, they are hated with the greatest enmity and violence by every selfish creature. From the total selfishness of totally depraved creatures, arises all the opposition that exists against these plain, pleasant, important and fundamental doctrines of the gospel.
IX. The non-elect ought to love the doctrine of election. Every moral agent is bound to love what is true and what is good. As God is light and love, every rational creature ought to see his glory, and to love his name. In the
crea. tion of rational beings God has been moved by the purest and best motives. In all his conduct, and in all his decrees respecting his rational creatures, he has done, and has designed to do what is wisest and best. And now has any rational creature in the universe the least reason to blame God ? Has God ever said, or done, or decreed what was not wisest and best ?Though he has created all things for his own glory, yet has he not done right? Though he has caused great differences in the natural capacities of his creatures, has he not done right? Though he has caused great differences in the moral characters of his rational beings, and tho' these differences will continue and increase for ever, yet has not God done right? Though God causes great, eternal and increasing differences between the conditions of sinful and guilty creatures, yet in what instance has he done, or has he designed the least injustice ? Though God, in the counsels of eternity, decreed what he would do, and what should be the character and condition of every rational creature, yet were his decrees unjust, unholy, or unwise ? The decrees of God are as holy and just, as wise and good as his conduct. And all his conduct is the exercise and expression of his infinite holiness, justice, wisdom and goodness. God approves of his own purposes and conduct because they are wisest and best. And for the same reason he requires every rational creature to approve of his conduct and of his decrees. What creature has any right to hate or to blame God, for any of his decrees, or any of his actions ? Has Satan any right to blame God for his decrees and his conduct respecting himself? Has Cain a right to blame God for his decrees and his conduct respecting himself ? Has Pharaoh a right to blame God for his decrees and his conduct respecting himself ? Has Judas a right to blame God for his decrees and his conduct respecting himself ? Has any reprobate the least reason, or the least right to blame God for decreeing and effecting his damnation ? When the Lord Jesus Christ shall say unto the reprobate at the judgment of the great day, “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels,” who will have any right, or any reason to desire that they should not go away into everlasting pun. ishment? The reprobate will then be silenced. They will know that for the decrees and the conduct of God respecting themselves, they ought to love and praise his holy name for ever and ever.
X. The elect have good reasons to praise God for destroying the reprobate. For decreeing and effecting the damnation of the reprobate, the righteous will for ever praise the name of God. Yet their praises will not arise from ignorance, or malevolence, but from knowledge and love. For the judgments of God upon the wicked in this life, the righteous have often blessed and praised the Lord their God. At the Red sea the children of Israel praised God, not only for their salvation, but also for the destruction of Pharaoh and his host. In the hun. dred and thirth-sixth Psalm, the Psalmist says, “O give thanks unto the Lord for he is good : for his mercy endureth for ever.” As evidences of the cverlasting goodness and mercy of God, he mentions the destruction of Pharaoh and his host, and the destruction of other great and famous kings. The inhabitants of heaven are represented as saying, “ Allcluia ! salvation and glory and honor and power unto the Lord our God, for true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great whore that did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her