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must thus approve and thus rejoice, before they can hare ant evidence that they are not of the number whom God designs to destroy. But if they will lay aside their unreasonable and ungrateful enmity, and give God the supreme affection of their hearts; they will then have good evidence that He “has not appointed them to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."-Amen.
From the Boston Telegraph.
GOD GOVERNS THE HEARTS OF MEN. Solomon says, “ Tlie king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. He seems to take it for granted, that no one would dispute the simple fact of God's governing the natural world, or that he turns the rivers of water whithersoever he will. He is, however, no less confident, that God governs or turns the heart of the king, as well as the rivers of water; and this truth the lioly Spirit moves him to assert.-But, if the king's heart is in the hands of the Lord, to be turned whithersoever he will; then the hearts of the king's subjects must be in the hands of the Lord, to be turned whithersoever he will. Ten thousand voluntary exercises and acts of the king himself never would and never could take place, were it out for the voluntary acts of his subjects, and the relation which he sustains to them as a ruler. It is impossible to conceive, therefore, how God can govern the heart of the ruler, without governing the hearts of the people. If, then, God governs the heart of the king, and the hearts of the king's subjects, he may be truly said to govern the hearts of mankind indiscriminately.
Tl.e single declaration of God's word, which we have cited, ought to be sufficient to set this subject at rest; but, copsidering the enmity of the wicked heart to the providence or agency of God, it seems important to examine the subject fairly, and to see wliether the doctrine under consideration accords with other established truths, as taught by the light of nature and the word of God.
That God governs the hearts of men, appears to us evident from his goverument of the natural world. That God governs the natural world, is a dictate of Scripture, reason and common sense. It is directly contrary to the light of nature to suppose, that He who made the world, does not govern the world. The Scriptures also teach, that God giveth to the beasts their food, and the young ravens when they cry; that he causes ilie rain to descend, and the sun to shine ; thai not a sparrow falls to the ground without him, and the very hairs of our leads are all num. bered.-David, in prayer to God, says, “ The day is thine, the night also ie thine; thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
Thou hast set all the borders of the earth; thou hast made summer and winter." Now, since God governs the natural world, we can see no reason why he should not govern the nioral world; i.e. we can see no reason why he should not govern the hearts of men. There are, indeed ten thousand instances, in which it is impossible to conceive how God can govern the natural world, without governing the hearts of men. Many things which take place in the natural world, are depending upon the volitions of men. It is depending upon the volitions of men, whether the earth shall be tilled or sown. It is depending upon the volitions of men, as secondary agents, whether the barren willderness shall be turned into a fruitful field. It is depending upon their voluntary acts, whether cities, and towns, and vil lages shall be built in different places of the earth; or wliether men shall live in one place, rather than in another. In these ten thousand changes, which are continually taking place on the face of the earth, it is impossible to conceive liow God can exercise eveu a supervisory agency, without controlling the hearts of mankind. From his government of the natural world therefore, we might infer, that God holds the hearts of men in his hand, as the rivers of water; and that he turneth them whithersoever he will.
The fact and nature of their dependence teach, that God governs the hearts of men. That men are dependent upou God in some respects, we believe is denied by no one, who believes there is a God. To deny that men are, in some respects, dependent beings, is next to absolute scepticisın. But, the nature of their dependence is such, that they cannot be dependent on Gudin one respect, without being dependent on bim in all respects. If men are dependent upon God for their existence, they must certainly be dependent upon him for health, and breathi, and food and raiment. But, if they are dependent upon him in these respecis; it is preposterous to suppose, that they are not dependent upon him in all other respects, even to their very thoughits and voluntary exercises. For, the very existence of mankind, in which it is acknowledged they are dependent upon Gud, is also, in ten thousand instances, depending upon their own voluntary exercises. It is depending upon the voluntary exercises of mankind, whether they shall preserve or destroy their own lives. It is depending upon their voluntary exercises, · whether they shall spare or destroy the lives of others. It is depending upon the voluntary exercises of parents, whether or not they shall cherish: the feelings of natural affection, and save the lives of their children, as they are born into the world. We see not, therefore, how God can continue the race of men upon the earth, without governing their hearts, or controlling their voluntary exercise. If then, we believe that mankind are dependent upou God in one respect; we minst, to be consistent, believe that they are dependent upon him in all respects. The very fact and nature of their dependence render it morally certain, that God governs their hearts, in every exer,
cise, and that in him they “are moved,' as well as 'live and hare their being.'
The facts above stated, accord with the uniform testimony of the Bible. There are very many things recorded in the Scriptures, which could not have taken place, if God had not governed the hearts of men. We are there informed that God caused Noah to build the Ark, to the saving of himsell and his family from the deluge. But this he conld not have done, without governing the heart of Noah, and the hearts of those who assisted him in that great and important work. We are informed, that God sent Abraham out of Urr of the Chaldees, into the land of Canaan. But, this he could not have done, without inclining or governing the heart of Abraham, to leave his father's house and the land of his nativity. Joseph declared that God sent him into Egypt. In order to do that, he must have governed the hearts of Joseph's brethren, who sold him into Egypt.God sent Moses, to lead the children of Israel "out of the house of bondage." In order to do that, it was necessary for him to govern not only the heart of Moses, that he might go, but the hearts of the children of Israel that they should obey him. God sent the king of Babylon against the land of Judea, to chastise his own rebellious people. In order to do that, it was neces. sary for him to govern the heart of that despotic and ambitious destroyer of nations. Accordingly, God said himself, “O As. syrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staft in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against a liy pocritical nation, and agaiost the people of my wrath will I give him a charge to take tlre prey, and to tread them down as the mire of the streets. Howbeit, he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and tu cut off nations not a few. Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion, and upon Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.” God determined that Cyrus should release his chosen people from captivity, and assist and encourage them to rebuild the temple, and city of Jerusalem. in order to fulfil his purpose, it was necessary for him to govern Cyrus's heart. Accordingly, it is written, “Thus saith the Lord to his anvinted, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of Kings, to open before him the two leaved gates, and the gates shall not be shut; and I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I the Lord, who call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called the by thy name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me." In the same chapter, God says concerning the same prince, "I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; be shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price or reward saith the Lord of hosts." When Moses recapitulated God's dealings with the people of Israel in the wilderness, he said concerning one nation, “But Shion king of Hesbon would not let us pass by him; for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand as appeareth this day.” Of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, it is declared, that God "turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants." Concerning the anti-Christian Powers of the latter day, John the revelator says, "For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil bis will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled." The apostle Paul brings into view God's sovereign control over tlie hearts of men, in almost all his epistles. When he preached at Athens, and exhibited the character of the true, but to them "UNKNOWN GOD,” he declared, that "in him we live, and move and have our being.” In another place he exhorts saints in the following language : "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to do,of his good pleasure. Again, he says to the same class of people, “For we are insufficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” Of many of the unbelieving Jews it was written, and repeatedly declared, 'God had hardened their hearts, and blinded their ininds; that he had given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and be converted, and he should heal them.'
It is evident from scripture, therefore, that God does in fact govern the hearts of men. All the passages, which have been cited, and a vast many others, which miglit have been introduced, precisely correspond with the words of Solomon quoted at the commencement of this article: "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever he will."
For the Hopkinsian Magazine. HUMAN AGENCY AND DIVINE sovereignty. Mr. Editor :- In a late paper, I observed an abstract of Rev. Dr. Beman's sermon before the General Assembly in Philadelphia, in May last. The object of the sermon appeared to be, to account for the different degrees of success attending the preaching of the gospel, in the time of the Apostles, and at the present day. The following is an extract from the abstract:***4. We ought not lo ascribe the difference under consideration
to the mere sovereignty of God: on the same ground we cannot refer the existence of sin and the loss of the soul to a mere naked, sovereign act of God-human agency must he regarded in all these cases--as also in the poverty of the sluggard—the ruin of the prodigal, and the debauchinent of the intemperate. Although God is a perfect sovereign, yet man is never permite ted to go and bang his sin on the sovereignty of his throne. Nor can we, without direct abuse of divine sovereignty, as. cribe to that source the coldness and death which pervade some sections of the church, and the wait f sa ing conversions in the Roman Catholic and Unitarian churches."
The above extract exhibits a sentiment which seems to be quite prevalent among the "new divinity” men, viz. : that when any thing is ascribed to divine sovereignty, human agency is of course excluded. This sentiment has been imbibed from another, viz. : that human and divine agency cannot be united in the same event. The new divines, having settled the point in their minds, that just so far as men att under a divine influence, they are deprived of their free, moral agency; and that just so far as they are free and accountable for their conduct, they are self-determined; they must, of course, draw the conclusion, that whatever event takes place by the sovereign agency of God, takes place wholly without the agency of man.
This is an important point of difference between the new divinity and the old. The elder orthodox divines used to teach us, that God works by means, and employs human instruments in accomplishing the purposes of his sovereign will. They represented God as having the moral, as well as the natural world, in bis hand, as the clay is in the hand of the potter; and as "working all things after the counsel of his own will." And on the other hand, they represented men as entirely dependent, acting always under a divine influence, and fulfilling the sovereign pleasure of God. So far, therefore, from separating human agency and divine sovereignty, they considered them as always and inseparably connected, in all the concerns of men, whether teniporal or spiritual.
That there is here a material point of difference, is very plain. On which side, then, lies the truth? Have the new men made an advance in theology? or have they departed from the faith? Were the old divines mistaken, in supposing that dependence and accountability are consisient—that men may act freely, while "God works in them to will and to do”that men do not possess a self-determining power and that all the actions of men accomplish be sovereign will of God? or