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A due consideration of these things which Mr. CHUBB has advanced, the strange inconsistences which his notion of Liberty-consisting in the will's power of self-determination void of all necessity, united with that dictate of common sense, that there can be no volition without a motive-drove him into, may be sufficient to convince us, that it is utterly impossible ever to make that notion of Liberty consistent with the influence of Motives in volition. And as it is in a manner self-evident, that there can be no act of will, or preference of the mind, without some motive or inducement, something in the mind's view which it aims at, and goes after; so it is most manifest, that there is no such Liberty in the universe as Arminians insist on; nor any such thing possible, or conceivable.

SECT. XI.

The Evidence of God's certain Foreknowledge of the Volitions of moral Agents.

That the acts of the wills of moral Agents are not contingent events, in such a sense as to be without all necessity, appears by God's certain Foreknowledge of such-events.

In handling this argument, I would in the first place prove, that God has a certain Foreknowledge of the voluntary acts of moral Agents; and secondly, shew the consequence, or how it follows from hence, that the Volitions of moral Agents are not contingent, so as to be without necessity of connection and consequence.

FIRST, I am to prove that God has an absolute and certain Foreknowledge of the free actions of moral Agents.

One would think it wholly needless to enter on such an argument with any that profess themselves Christians: but so it is: God's certain Foreknowledge of the free acts of moral Agents is denied by some that pretend to believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God: and especially of late. I therefore shall consider the evidence of such a prescience in the Most High, as fully as the designed limits of this essay will admit; supposing myself herein to have to do with such as own the truth of the Bible.

ARG. I. My first argument shall be taken from God's prediction of such events. Here I would, in the first place, lay down these two things as axioms.

1. If God does not foreknow, He cannot foretell such events; that is, He cannot peremptorily and certainly foretell them. If God has no more than an uncertain guess concern

ing events of this kind, then He can declare no more than an uncertain guess. Positively to foretell, is to profess to foreknow, or declare positive Foreknowledge.

2. If God does not certainly foreknow the future Volitions of moral Agents, then neither can He certainly foreknow those events which are dependent on these Volitions. The existence of the one depending on the existence of the other, the knowledge of the existence of the one depends on the knowledge of the existence of the other; and the one cannot be more certain than the other.

Therefore, how many, how great, and how extensive soever the consequences of the Volitions of moral Agents may be; though they should extend to an alteration of the state of things through the universe, and should be continued in a series of successive events to all eternity, and should in the progress of things branch forth into an infinite number of series, each of them going on in an endless chain of events; God must be as ignorant of all these consequences, as He is of the Volition whence they first take their rise: and the whole state of things depending on them, how important, extensive and vast soever, must be hid from him.

These positions being such as, I suppose, none will deny, I now proceed to observe the following things.

1. Men's moral conduct and qualities, their virtues and vices, their wickedness and good practice, things rewardable and punishable, have often been foretold by God.-Pharaoh's moral conduct, in refusing to obey God's command, in letting his people go, was foretold. God says to Moses, Exod. iii. 19. "I am sure that the King of Egypt will not let you go." Here God professes not only to guess at, but to know Pharaoh's future disobedience. In chap. vii. 4, God says, "but Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that I may lay mine hand upon Egypt, &c." And chap. ix. 30. Moses says to Pharaoh," as for thee, and thy servants, I KNOW that ye will not fear the Lord." See also chap. xi. 9.-The moral conduct of Josiah, by name, in his zealously exerting himself to oppose idolatry in particular acts, was foretold above three hundred years before he was born, and the prophecy sealed by a miracle, and renewed and confirmed by the words of a second prophet, as what surely would not fail, (1 Kings xiii. 1—6, 32.) This prophecy was also in effect a prediction of the moral conduct of the people, in upholding their schismatical and idolatrous worship until that time, and the idolatry of those priests of the high places, which it is foretold Josiah should offer upon that altar of Bethel. Micaiah foretold the foolish and sinful conduct of Ahab, in refusing to hearken to the word of the Lord by him, and choosing rather to hearken to the false prophets, in going to Ramoth-Gilead to his ruin,

(1 Kings xxi. 20,-22.) The moral conduct of Hazael was foretold in that cruelty he should be guilty of; on which Hazael says, "What, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing!" The prophet speaks of the event as what he knew, and not what he conjectured, 2 Kings viii. 12. "I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: Thou wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child." The moral conduct of Cyrus is foretold long before he had a being, in his mercy to God's people, and regard to the true God, in turning the captivity of the Jews, and promoting the building of the temple, (Isai. xliv. 28. and lxv. 13. compare 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23. and Ezra i. 1,-4.) How many instances of the moral conduct of the Kings of the North and South, particular instances of the wicked behaviour of the Kings of Syria and Egypt, are foretold in the eleventh chapter of Daniel? Their corruption, violence, robbery, treachery and lies. And particularly, how much is foretold of the horrid wickedness of Antiochus Epiphanes, called there "a vile person," instead of Epiphanes, or illustrious. In that chapter, and also in chap. viii. ver. 9, 14, 23, to the end, are foretold his flattery, deceit and lies, his having "his heart set to do mischief," and set "against the holy covenant," his "destroying and treading under foot the holy people," in a marvellous manner, his having indignation against the holy covenant, setting his heart against it, and conspiring against it," his " polluting the sanctuary of strength, treading it under foot, taking away the daily sacrifice, and placing the abomination that maketh desolate;" his great pride, "magnifying himself against God, and uttering marvellous blasphemies against Him," until God in indignation should destroy him. Withal, the moral conduct of the Jews, on occasion of his persecution, is predicted. It is foretold, that "he should corrupt many by flatteries," (chap. xi. 32,-34.) But that others should behave with a glorious constancy and fortitude, in opposition to him, (ver. 32.) And that some good men should fall and repent, (ver. 35.) Christ foretold Peter's sin, in denying his Lord, with its circumstances, in a peremptory manner. And so, that great sin of Judas, in betraying his master, and its dreadful and eternal punishment in hell, was foretold in the like positive manner, Matt. xxvi. 21-25, and parallel places in the other Evangelists.

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2. Many events have been foretold by God, which are dependent on the moral conduct of particular persons, and were accomplished either by their virtuous or vicious actions. Thus, the children of Israel's going down into Egypt to dwell there, was foretold to Abraham, (Gen. xv.) which was brought about by the wickedness of Joseph's brethren in selling him, and the wickedness of Joseph's mistress, and his own signal virtue in resisting her temptation. The accomplishment of

the thing prefigured in Joseph's dream, depended on the same moral conduct. Jotham's parable and prophecy, (Judges ix. 15,-20.)was accomplished by the wicked conduct of Abimelech, and the men of Shechem. The prophecies against the house of Eli, (1 Sam. chap. ii. and iii.) were accomplished by the wickedness of Doeg the Edomite, in accusing the priests; and the great impiety, and extreme cruelty of Saul in destroying the priests at Nob. (1 Sam. xxii.) Nathan's prophecy against David, (2 Sam. xii. 11, 12.) was fulfilled by the horrible wickedness of Absalom, in rebelling against his father, seeking his life, and lying with his concubines in the sight of the sun. The prophecy against Solomon, (1 Kings xi. 11,—13.) was fulfilled by Jeroboam's rebellion and usurpation, which are spoken of as his wickedness, (2 Chron. xiii. 5, 6. compare ver. 18.) The prophecy against Jeroboam's family, (1 Kings xiv.) was fulfilled by the conspiracy, treason, and cruel murders of Baasha, (2 Kings xv. 27, &c.) The predictions of the prophet Jehu against the house of Baasha, (1 Kings xvi. at the beginning,) were fulfilled by the treason and parricide of Zimri, · (1 Kings xvi. 9,—13, 20.)

3. How often has God foretold the future moral conduct of nations and people, of numbers, bodies, and successions of men with God's judicial proceedings, and many other events consequent and dependent on their virtues and vices; which could not be foreknown, if the Volitions of men, wherein they acted as moral Agents, had not been foreseen? The future cruelty of the Egyptians in oppressing Israel, and God's judging and punishing them for it, was foretold long before it came to pass, (Gen. xv. 13, 14.) The continuance of the iniquity of the Amorites, and the increase of it until it should be full, and they ripe for destruction, was foretold above four hundred years before, (Gen. xv. 16. Acts vii. 6, 7.) The prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the land of Judah, were absolute; (2 Kings, xx. 17-19. chap. xxii. 15, to the end.) It was foretold in Hezekiah's time, and was abundantly insisted on in the book of the prophet Isaiah, who wrote nothing after Hezekiah's days. It was foretold in Josiah's time, in the beginning of a great reformation, (2 Kings xxii.) And it is manifest by innumerable things in the predictions of the prophets, relating to this event, its time, its circumstances, its continuance and end; the return from the captivity, the restoration of the temple, city and land, &c. I say, these shew plainly, that the prophecies of this great event were absolute. And yet this event was connected with, and dependent on two things in men's moral conduct: first, the injurious rapine and violence of the king of Babylon and his people, as the efficient cause; which God often speaks of as what he highly resented, and would severely punish; and secondly, the

final obstinancy of the Jews. That great event is often spoken of as suspended on this, (Jer. iv. 1. and v. 1. vii. 1.—7. xi. 1,— 6, xvii. 24, to the end. xxv. 1,—7. xxvi. 1,-8, 13. and xxxviii. 17, 18.) Therefore this destruction and captivity could not be foreknown, unless such a moral conduct of the Chaldeans and Jews had been foreknown. And then it was foretold, that the people should be finally obstinate, to the utter desolation of the city and land. (Isai. vi. 9,--11. Jer. i. 18, 19. vii. 27,—29. Ezek. iii. 7. and xxiv. 13, 14.)

The final obstinacy of those Jews who were left in the land of Israel, in their idolatry and rejection of the true God, was foretold by him, and the prediction confirmed with an oath, (Jer. xliv. 26, 27.) And God tells the people, (Isai. xlviii. 3. 4,-8.) that he had predicted those things which should be consequent on their treachery and obstinacy, because he knew they would be obstinate; and that he had declared these things beforehand, for their conviction of his being the only true God, &c.

The destruction of Babylon, with many of the circumstances of it, was foretold, as the judgment of God for the exceeding pride and haughtiness of the heads of that monarchy, Nebuchadnezzar and his successors, and their wickedly destroying other nations, and particularly for their exalting themselves against the true God and his people, before any of these monarchs had a being; (Isa. chap. xiii. xiv. xlvii: compare Habbak. ii. 5, to the end, and Jer. chap. 1. and li.) That Babylon's destruction was to be " a recompence, according to the works of their own hands," appears by Jer. xxv. 14.-The immorality of which the people of Babylon, and particularly her princes and great men, were guilty, that very night that the city was destroyed, their revelling and drunkenness at Belshazzar's idolatrous feast, was foretold, (Jer. li. 39, 57.)

The return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity is often very particularly foretold, with many circumstances, and the promises of it are very peremptory: (Jer. xxxi. 35,-40. and xxxii, 6,-15, 41,—44. and xxxiii. 24,-26.) And the very time of their return was prefixed; (Jer. xxv. 11, 12. and xxix. 10, 11. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21. Ezek. iv. 6. and Dan. ix. 2.) And yet the prophecies represent their return as consequent on their repentance. And their repentance itself is very expressly and particularly foretold, (Jer. xxix. 12, 13, 14. xxxi. 8, 9, 18,-31. xxxiii. 8. l. 4, 5. Ezek. vi. 8, 9, 10. vii. 16. xiv. 22, 23. and xx. 43, 44.)

It was foretold under the Old Testament, that the Messiah should suffer greatly through the malice and cruelty of men ; as is largely and fully set forth, Psal. xxii. applied to Christ in the New Testament, (Matt. xxvii. 35, 43. Luke xxiii. 34. John xix. 24. Heb. ii. 12.) And likewise in Psal. Ixix. which.

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