is cheaply bought.? The pain and imperfection of the world are God?s frown upon sin and his warning against it. See Bushnell, chapter on Anticipative Consequences in Nature and the Supernatural, 194-219. Also McCosh, Divine Government, 26-35, 249-261; Farrar, Science and Theology, 82 ? l05; Johnson. in Bap. Rev., 6:141-154; Fairbairn, Philos. Christ. Religion, 94-168.
No plan whatever of a finite creation can fully express the infinite perfection of God. Since God, however, is immutable, he must always have had a plan of the universe; since he is perfect, he must have had the best possible plan. As wise, God cannot choose a plan less good, instead of one more good. As rational, he cannot between plans equally good make a merely arbitrary choice. Here is no necessity, but only the certainty that infinite wisdom will act wisely. God was not moved by compulsion from without and necessity from within to create the actual universe. Creation is both wise and free.
As God is both rational and wise, his having a plan of the universe must be better than his not having a plan would be. But the universe once was not; yet without a universe God was blessed and sufficient to himself. God?s perfection therefore requires not that he has a universe but that he has a plan of the universe. Again, since God is both rational and wise, his actual creation cannot be the worst possible, nor one arbitrarily chosen from two or more equally good. It must be, all things considered, the best possible. We are optimists rather than pessimists.
But we reject that form of optimism, which regards evil as the indispensable condition of the good, and sin as the direct product of God?s will. We hold that other form of optimism which regards sin as naturally destructive, but as made, in spite of itself, by an overruling providence, to contribute to the highest good. For the optimism, which makes evil the necessary condition of finite being, see Leibnitz, Opera Philosophica, 468, 624; Hedge, Ways of the Spirit, 241; and Pope?s Essay on Man. For the better form of optimism, see Herzog, Encyclopadie, art.: Schopfung, 13:651-653; Chalmers, Works, 2:286; Mark Hopkins, in Andover Rev., March, 1885:197-210; Luthardt, Lehre des freien Willens, 9, 10 ? ?Calvin?s Quia voluit is not the last answer. We could have no heart for such a God, for he would he have no heart. Formal will alone has no heart. In God real freedom controls formal, as in fallen man, formal controls real.?
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