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plan, &c. then there can be no event however trivial in itself, &c." Does not the objector see a great many trivial things, as he would call them, in the creation ? And yet one and the same God created the heavens, and the earth, and all the host of them. He who created the sun to give light in the firmament of heaven, also created the glow-worm. He who created great whales, created all the little fishes, and the little insects, even those which can be seen only by the help of glasses. The same Almighty Being, who made the cedars of Lebanon, made the hyssop which springeth out of the wall. He who formed globes formed every particle of matter. Does it degrade the Almighty in our view, to consider him as the Creator of little things ? And would it relieve our minds, to believe that he created the little things without any design? If in the character of Creator, we must consider God's hand and counsel concerned in every thing which was made, so that " without him there was not any thing made which was made ;" why shall we not, when we consider him as the God of providence, speak of him as ordering every event, even the minutest? Did Jesus Christ represent it as dishonorable to God to concern himself with little events? Did he not teach us, that his heavenly Father fed the fowls of the air ;--and that a little worthless sparrow could not die without the ordering of his holy providence? And how could he more strikingly teach us, that the providence of God was concerned with small events, or “ trivial things," than by saying, “ The very hairs of your head are all numbered ?” Mat. x. 30. This important saying stands in such connexion, as most evidently to teach, not merely the omniscience of God, but more particularly his providence in its most unlimited extent. If God's providence is concerned with “ trivial things,” it can be no diminishing of his glory, to suppose his scheme of providence embraced them. And as it would be utterly impossible to conceive of God as creating the world, considered as a whole, without creating the individual parts of which it is composed ; in like manner we cannot conceive of God as having any providential government over the world, without supposing him to concern himself in all the particular events, which put to. A quo,

he says,

gether make up the system of providence. In fine, we must view him as working all things, (not excluding « trivial things,'') after the counsel of his own will."

6. Mr. Bangs urges this as a capital objection against our doctrine, That it makes the purposes and commands of God oppose each other; and that it inakes it impossible for us to determine what our duty is. tation or two from his Letters will show how much weight he lays on this objection. “ Your doctrine,"

militates against the wisdom of God by making the decrees and commands clashHere then are two works of the Almighty, his decrees and commands directly opposed to each other. Is this harmony ? Such conduct is so far from being a mark of wisdom, that it is indicative of the most consum. mate duplicity and folly." p. 22, In the 42d page he revives the subject again. He says ;

" And when men fulfil the counsel of God, do they not do their duty ? Or must they act contrary to that counsel in order to do their duty ? Or will you here say also that God's com. mands and counsels are opposite ? If so, when do we do our duty, when we obey the command, or when we fulfil the counsel.”+

* After writing the above article, I had occasion the same day to ride into a neighboring town. The people of the house where I lodged informed me, that they had been that day to attend the funeral of one of their neighbors. It was a man who was taken from the head of a family. I asked the cause of his death. They informed me, that he died of a wound received by being thrown from bis wagon a few days before ; and that this was occasioned by the man's permitting two boys to get into his wagon, who had some ducks, either in their hands, or in a basket. Soon after the boys were taken in, one of the ducks flew away, and this frighted the horses, and caused them to run ; and this threw the man from the wagon and caused his death. I thought with myself ; Here is a providence which will illustrate the article which I have been writing to-day. The death of a man is not a "trivial thing;” it is an event of sufficient importance for God to put into his great scheme of providence ; but the flying of a duck is one of the trivial things : Yet it is evident, according to the account given me, that if the duck had not flown, the man had not died.

† Mr. B. says, p. 280, “ If God command one thing, and decree in direct opposition to it, why may he not also promise one thing, and yet never decree to accomplish it?". There is

I cannot see the least difficulty in answering these questions. The decree is the purpose of God concern. ing what he himself will do. How plainly is this taught, Isa. xiv. 24 ; “ The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass ; and as I have purposed, 80 shall it stand.' So also in Isa, xlvi. Il; “ I have purposed it, I will also do it.” The purpose of God, what he will do, is a rule only for himself. His purpose is most commonly kept secret until it is manifested by the event ; for “ it is the glory of God to conceal a thing :” But if he reveals his purpose, as he sometimes does, it does not become the rule of our duty, Christ made known to Peter what God's purpose about him was ; namely, that he should deny his Lord and Master. But was Peter any at loss which was to be the rule of his dury, the command, which required he should confess Christ before men; or the purpose of God, that he should deny him ? His denial of Christ did not arise from his being at loss about duty, but it was the fruit of that fear of man which bringeth a snare.

But still it will be said, How does it appear consiste ent, that God should purpose one thing, and command another ? Mr. B. says, that such a thing would be “indicative of the most consummate duplicity and folly :" and yet in p. 57, he acknowledges the propriety of God's sending the sword as well as famine upon cities devoted to wickedness. Thus God sent Sennacherib to punish Jerusalem. See Isa. x. The command of God to the Assyrian monarch was the same as to all other men, Love thy neighbor as thyself. Thou shalt not covet any thing which is thy neighbor's. His carry

this difference between a command, and a promise. The command obligates the commanded ; the promise obligates the promiser. The commands of God lay us under obligation to him, but his promises lay him under obligation to us. He is not bound to order his providences so as to secure our obedi. ence; but he is inviolably bound by his holiness, to order his providences in such a way, as not to break his promise, or alter the thing which has gone out of his mouth. The command cf God is no prediction of what will be,-it is a mere statement of our duty ; but his promise is a prediction of a future event : which event he has pledged his veracity to bring into ex• istence,

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ing the sword to destroy Jerusalem, was directly against the commands of God; but it was in perfect coincidence with the purpose of God, not only by the testimony of the scriptures, but also by the concession of my antagonist, who allows that God has a right to send the sword ; and I conclude that he will not dispúte but that he has a right to send it in the hand of just such a man as the proud king of Assyria. I also conclude, that if it does not appear inconsistent that God should send a man to break his commands, (as the wicked Sennacherib evidently did,) it will not appear inconsistent that he should purpose to send him.

If the Most High purposed that Christ should be crucified by wicked hands, (which I am persuaded will appear to the most of my readers an incontrovertible truth,) the harmony of the divine conduct is illustrated. The command to all, is the same ; This is my beloved Son, hear ye him-Reverence my Son. The purpose was, that some should not hear and reverence him, but put him to death. Where is the consummate du. plicity and folly of the Divine Father in this matter? Was ii foolish for niñ to require all to reverence his Son ? Could he have required less ?- could he have exempted an individual from obligation to this command? All must say, The requirement was perfectly consistent. Then let me ask, Was it inconsistent that the Father should determine his Son should be crucified by wicked hands ? Dare any one say, that this was a foolish determination ? And yet it could not go into operation without the most flagrant violation of divine commands. But does the command, to reverence the Son, and the purpose, to have him hated and crucified, really make our heavenly Father appear like a doubleminded Being? Does he not, in determining upon the crucifixion of his Son, by wicked hands, manifest a very great regard to that holy law which was so palpably transgressed by the wicked crucifiers ?

The objection which we now have in view, takes a thing for granted which is by no means true, viz. that if God purposes things shall be done, which will be contrary to his commands, that then he acts against his own commands that he shows zwo sides, manifesto ing by the commands, that he loves what is command

ed, and, by his decree, that he loves the transgression of his commands. If the purpose of God, that his commands should, in a certain instance, be broken, were the same as a counter command, it would, we must acknowledge, make the divine Law-giver appear inconsistent with himself, If the God of Israel had said to Pharaoh, I require you to let my people go; and, I require you not to let my people go, there would have been no consistency in it: But he uniformly required Pharaoh to let his people go; and yet it was evidently his purpose, that he should not let them go, until he had wrought all his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the land of Ham. To say, that the Almighty never had any purposes which, by going into effect, would issue in creatures' disobeying his commands, is to say, that he had no purpose about the means of bringing Joseph and Jacob and his family into Egypt ;-also that he had no purpose about making his name to be declared in all the earth by Pharaoh ;-or by the forty years sojourning of the Israelites in the wilderness. It would be to say ; that God had no purpose about all the chastenings which his people received from the heathen who dwelt among them, and round about them; for the inflicting of all these chastenings implied disobedience to his commands, on the part of the heathen. If it should be said, that God purposed to make use of the heathen, to scourge his people, but it was after they had transgressed; I answer, This does not relieve the difficulty at all; for however late the purpose was formed to use such a scourge, and however great his provocation, it was a purpose, to make use of their disobedience to his law, to answer the ends of his holy government. Going on the ground of the objection, He, who ruleth among the kingdoms of men, had no plan about the rise and fall of the four successive monarchies, spoken of in the book of Daniel ; for the sin of men was the great thing used in their rise and fall. He had no plan about the fight of the infant Saviour into Egypt, for it was the malice of Herod which drove him thither. He had no purpose that he should be: tempted in the wilderness, for Satan was the tempter. He had no purpose concerning his being betrayed, for none but a wicked man would betray him ; and no wick

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