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Q.4. When God made a covenant with Cain, did not Cain know the condition, and had he not power to comply?
A. God never made any covenant with Cain, that I know of.
Q. 5. Does not the word if imply a covenant with Cain?
A. The word if does imply a condition, but not a covenant of grace with Cain, but of works, which binds all the children of Adam. If thou transgress, or doest not well, sin lieth at thy door. Cain was a sinner, and God addressed him on the covenant of works.
Reply by K. If thou doest well now,* shalt thou not be accepted as well as Abel; and if thou doest evil, I will enter into judgment with you, if you do not accept.
Reply by P. The Lord said unto Cain, if thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted; but he did not do well; and in order to do well, he must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reply by K. He never heard of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are several dispensations; and a man, born under the Jewish dispensation, is not to be tried by the Christian law. Cain did not exist under the Christian law as a just person.
Q. 6. Is a person, born under one dispensation, to be tried by another?
*He laid great stress on the word now, which was not in the text.
A. There is no other name given under heaven, or among men, whereby we can be saved, but the name of Jesus; neither is there salvation in any other, nor ever has been. This was implied in the promise originally.
Q. 7. What was the condition of the covenant God made with Adam, in the second chapter of Genesis; in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die; was this decree accomplished?
A. Yes, sir; that death is what is called in Revelation, the second death, or what may be termed a cessation of appropriate action. Man having sinned, the gracious presence of God departed from his soul, and he became dead in trespasses and sins.
Q. 8. Does not human actions imply a body as well as a soul?
A. Man died a spiritual death at once, and became subject to a temporal death afterwards.*
Q. 9. Why then the term, In the day thou eatest thereof?
A. He did die both deaths at once; he instantly fell into spiritual death, and became mortal.
Q. 10. What decree did God make with the
*Some of these answers I might have given differently if I had had time to deliberate; because many human ac. tions, for which man is accountable, consist in thought, and do not imply a body. But I must now record them as they were delivered on the spur of the occasion. I made po fatal blunder.
whole world before the flood in the sixth chapter of Genesis does not this decree include all mankind, or is any exception in the de
A. Yes, sir; there is an exception; we read that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord; and there was an exception in favour of him and his family.
Q. 11. Is it God that excepts Noah, or is it Moses ?*
A. All scripture is given by the inspiration. of God the Holy Ghost.
Q. 12. Did God give this to Noah on the occasion?
A. He commanded Noah to build the ark, and afterwards directed Moses to write the fact.
Q. 13. When the angels were about to deliver Lot out of Sodom, who were they sent to deliver, his son-in-law and relations?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. 14. Whose fault was it that they did not come?
A. Their own; and it was so decreed from the foundation of the world.
Q. 15. Did God decree their burning?
Q. 16. How could God make them a sincere offer, and th deceive them?
The answer to the previous questions was read to him out of the Bible, which was in my hand.
A. God, who knows all things, has arranged his plans; he knew, from all eternity, what those men would do, and he left them to act voluntarily, but his knowledge had no effect upon their conduct.
[We then turned to the third chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith. It was read.] Q. 17. Does God foreordain with foreknowledge, and does God decree from the foundation of the world, without exception?
A. It is all certain with him. [I read the same chapter.] "God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably, ordain whatsoever comes to pass, yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor the liberty or contingencies of second causes taken away, but rather established."
Q. 18. Can you reconcile the decree of God that a man commit murder and adultery, and no violence on the man? How can I help being what I am?
A. Yes, sir. We will suppose Cain, Judas, or any other wicked man you may please to name. We will take Judas for an instance, and place him here on earth, and give him all the liberty of action you choose to name: he is active, and will do something; and those actions may be regulated according to his own free will; he is perfectly voluntary in all he does. [I might have added, he has neither compulsion
or restraint.] And, at the same time, God knows, from the beginning, all his actions, both good and bad; and that with a perfect certainty, so that he could record them all in a book; and they, in time, would come to pass just as they were there recorded. Those actions would then be certain, with God, from before the foundation of the world. Now we ask, what effect this foreknowledge and decree could have upon the conduct of Judas, when he knew nothing at all about it until it came to pass? For an example, we will take the case of Jesus Christ. Judas betrayed him here on earth. This wickedness God knew with a certainty, and recorded it in his word, many hundred years before it took place; but that foreknowledge could have no effect upon the conduct of Judas.
Q. 19. Can you point out a difference between the foreknowledge and the decree of God?
A. That is for you to do; in my opinion they run parallel. All the attributes of God are in unison and harmony.
Q. 20. How can the decrees of God be reconciled with his mercy and justice, when an evil act is committed?
A. Cain acted evilly, and God knew, before he was born, what he would do; but Cain did not know it; therefore he acted freely, according to the impulse of his own will. And Judas betrayed his Master here on earth, there was