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S. First, as the uncleanness of the body is washed away with water, so the spots of the soul are washed away by forgiveness of sins. Secondly, the beginning of regeneration, that is, the mortifying of our nature, is expressed by dipping in the water, or by sprinkling of it. Finally when we by and by rise up again out of the water, under which we be for a short time, the new life, which is the other part, and the end of our regeneration, is thereby represented.”
Duet. xxx. 15..20,
“See, I have set before thee this day life and good,
and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply : and the LORD thy GOD shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing : therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live ; That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto llim: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."
In these words, the responsibility of man is very remarkably declared ; and this doctrine is continually inculcated in the written Word. Throughout the Scriptures, man
is addressed as a responsible creature: while, at the same time, God's Sovereignty is as clearly revealed These propositions, when connected, appear paradoxical; and this arises from man's inability to take a complete view of the limits of truth, in consequence of the finitude of his mind. Our partial ken is often unable to connect those propositions, the truth of which we clearly perceive, when taken separately. If this were not the case, the human mind would be infinite in power. We must be careful, then, to distinguish between what is paradoxical, and that which is contradictory. A contradiction can exist between two known ideas only; or, between two propositions whose limits are clearly defined. The converše only can apply to a paradox. Hence, in those truths of revelation,
which declare the Will, the Ways and the Providence of the infinite God, it is evident that we must continually meet with theological paradoxes; "for canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection? It is high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell ; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea !" “Oh! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are Alis judgments, and His ways past finding out !". We can behold “the hiding only of His power!" “Verily, He is a God that hideth Himself!"
The responsibility of man involves a consideration of his free agency; and consequently of his will. In treating on the human will and on free agency, we must avoid equally the error of those, who make man a mere machine; and of those, who would derogate from the sovereign Providence of God. We
must consiiler man as a morul agent, accountable for his couduct; anal, therefore, intluenced by internal motives, and not by external force; since man is an active, and not a passive instrument in the hands of his Creator: All events must be considered as certain, but not as absolutely necessary. What God has determined will be accomplished, but we cannot say that these events must be. Thus, in the daily development of events, both public and private, we nay recognise the predetermined Will of God); while, at the same time, we may regard the responsible agency of individual instruments. These are the limits, which we must be careful to preserve.
All events and all actions, even the minutest, were determined in the counsels of the infinite Mind of our Triune God, from everlasting. And, Jesus CHRIST, in His official character of King, is “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending." All events are overruled by Him, for the universal good of His