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Send and take all the Families of the North, faith the Lord, and Nebuchadnezzar my Servant, and will bring them against this Land, and against all the Nations round about ; and will utterly destroy them, and make them an Astonishment, and an Hising, and perpetual Desolations. Chap. xliii. 10, II. I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon, my Servant: and I will set his Throne upon these stones that I have hid, and be shall spread his royal Pavilion over them. And when he cometh, he hall (mite tbe Land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for Death to Death, and such as are for Captivity to Captivity, and such as are for the Sword to the Sword. Thus God represents himself as sending for Nebuchadnezzar, and taking of hiin and his Armies, and bringing him against the Nations which were to be destroyed by him, to that very End, that he might utterly destroy them, and make them desolate ; and as appointing the Work that he thould do, so particularly, that the very Persons were designed, that he should kill with the Sword ; and those that should be kill'd with Famine and Pestilence, and those that should be carried into Captivity ; and that in doing all these Things, he should act as his Servant: By which, less can't be intended, than that he should serve his Purposes and Designs. And in Jer. xxvii, 4, 5, 6. God declares how he would cause him thus to serve his Designs, viz. by bringing this to pass in his fovereign Disposals, as the great Poffeffor and Governour of the Universe, that disposes all Things just as pleases him. Thus faith the Lord of Holts, the God of Israel ; I have made the Earth, the Man and the Beast that are upon the Ground, by my great Power, and my stretched out Arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me : And now I have given all these Lands into the Hands of Nebuchadnezzar MY SERVANT, and the Beasts of the Field have I given also to serve bim. And Nebuchadnezzar is spoken of as doing these Things, by having his Arms strengthened by God, and having God's Sword put into his Hands, for this End. Ezek. xxx. 24, 25, 26. Yea, God speaks of his terribly ravaging and wafting the Nations, and cruelly destroying all Sorts, without Distinction of Sex or Age, as the Weapon in God's Hand, and the Instrument of his Indignation, which God makes use of to fulfil his own Purposes, and execute his own Vengeance. Jer. li. 20, &c. Thou art my Battle-Axe, and Weapons of War For with thee will I break in Pieces the Nations, and with thee I will destroy Kingdoms, and with thee I will break in Pieces the Horse and his Rider, and with thee I will break in Pieces the Chariot and his Rider ; with thee also will I break in Pieces Man and Woman; and with thee will I break in Pieces Old and Young; and with thee will I break in Pieces the young Man and the Maid, &c. 'Tis represented, that the Designs of Nebuchadnezzar, and those that destroyed Jerusalem, never could have been accomplished, had not God determined them, as well as they ; Lam. iii. 37. Who is be that saith, and it cometh to pass, and the Lord commandeth it not? And yet the King of Babylon's thus destroying the Nations, and especially the Jews, is spoken of as his great Wickedness, for which God finally destroyed him. Isa. xiv. 4, 5, 6, 12. Hab. ii. 5.-12. and Jer, Chap. 1. and li. 'Tis most manifeft, that God, to ferve his own Designs, providentially ordered Shimei's cursing David. 2 Sam. xvi. 10, 11. The Lord haib said unto him, Curse David. --Let him curse, for the Lord batb bidden him.
'Tis certain, that God thus, for excellent, holy, gracious and glorious Ends, ordered the Fact which they committed, who were concerned in
Chrift's Death, and that therein they did but fulfil God's Designs. As, I truft, no Chriftian will deny, it was the Design of God, that Christ should be crucified, and that for this End, he came into the World. 'Tis very manifest by many Scriptures, that the whole Affair of Christ's Crucifixion, with its Circumstances, and the Treachery of Judas, that made Way for it, was ordered in God's Providence, in Purfuance of his Purpose; notwithstanding the Violence that is used with those plain Scriptures, to obscure and pervert the Senfe of 'em. Acts ïi. 23. Him being delivered, by the determinate Counsel and Foreknowledge of God, *ye bave taken, and with wicked Hands, bave crucised and sain. Luke xxii. 21, 22'. + But bebold the Hand of him that betrayeth me, is with me on the Table : And truly the Son of Man goeth, as it was determined. Acts iv, 27, 28. For of a Truth, against thy holy Child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the People of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy Hand and thy Counsel determined before to be done. Acts iii. 17, 18. And now Bretbren, I wot that through Ignorance ye did it, as did
* * Grotius, as well as Beza, observes, that are regis most e here fignify Decree; and Elsner has shewn that it has that « Signification, in approved Greek Writers. And it is certain " sudor signifies one given up into the Hands of an Enemy." Doddridge in Loc.
† “ As this Passage is not liable to the Ambiguities, which « fome have apprehended in Acis ii. 23. and iv, 28, (which * yet seem on the whole to be parallel to it, in their most na“ tural Construction) I look upon it as an evident Proof, that « these Things are, in the Language of Scripture, said to be « determined or decreed (or exaaly bounded and mark'd out « by God, as the Word well w most naturally signifies) which « he fees in Fact will happen, in Consequence of his Voli“ tions, without any necessitating Agency; as well as thote « Events, of which he is properly the Author.” Dodd. in
also your Rulers: But thefe Things, which God before bad bewed by the Mouth of all his Prophets, that Christ pould suffer, he hath fo fulfilled. So that what these Murderers of Christ did, is spoken of as what God brought to pass or ordered, and that by which he fulfilled his own Word.
In Rev. xvii. 17. The agreeing of the Kings of the Earth to give their Kingdom to the Beast, tho' it was a very wicked Thing in them, is spoken of as a fulfilling God's Will, and what God bad put into their Hearts to do. 'Tis manifeft, that God sometimes permits Sin to be committed, and at the same Time orders Things so, that if he permits the Fact, it will come to pass, becaufe on some Ac counts he sees it needful and of Importance that it should come to pass. Matt. xviii. 7. It must needs be, that Offences come ; but Wo'to that Man by whom the Offence cometh. With 1 Cor. xi. 19. For there must also be Hereses among you, that they which are approved, may be made manifest among you.
Thus it is certain and demonftrable, from the holy Scriptures, as well as the Nature of Things, and the Principles of Arminians, that God permits Sin ; and at the same Time, so orders Things, in his Providence, that it certainly and infallibly will come to pass, in Consequence of his Permission.
I proceed to obferve in the next Place.
III. That there is a great Difference between God's being concerned thus, by his Permission, in an Event and Act, which in the inherent Subject and Agent of it, is Sin, (tho' the Event will certainly follow on his Permission,) and his being concerned in it by producing it and exerting the Act of Sin; or between his being the Orderer of its certain Existence, by not hindering it, under
certain Circumstances, and his being the proper Astor or Author of it, by a positive Agency or Efficiency. And this, notwithstanding what Dr. Whitby offers about a Saying of Philosophers, that Caufa deficiens, in Rebus necessariis, ad Causam per fe efficientem reducenda eft. As there is a vast Difference between the Sun's being the Cause of the Lightfomeness and Warmth of the Atmosphere, and Brightness of Gold and Diamonds, by its Prefence and positive Influence; and its being the Occasion of Darkness and Frost, in the Night, by its Motion, whereby it descends below the Horizon. The Motion of the Sun is the Occafion of the latter Kind of Events; but it is not the proper Cause, Efficient or Producer of them;
tho they are necessarily consequent on that Moition, under such Circunstances : No more is any
Action of the divine Being the Cause of the Evil of Men's Wills. If the Sun were the proper Cause of Cold and Darkness, it would be the Fourtain of thefe Things, as it is the Fountain of Light and Heat : And then something might be argued from the Nature of Cold and Darkness, to a Likeness of Nature in the Sun; and it might be justly infer'd, that the Sun itself is dark and cold, and that his Beams are black and frosty, But from its being the Cause no otherwise than by its Departure, no such Thing can be infer'd, but the contrary; it may justly be argued, that the Sun is a bright and hot Body, if Cold and Darknefs are found to be the Consequence of its Withdrawment; and the more constantly and necessarily these Effects are connected with, and confined to its Absence, the more strongly does it argue the Sun to be the Fountain of Light and Heat, So, inasınuch as Sin is not the Fruit of any positive Agency or Influence of the most High, but on the contrary, arises from the withholding of his