the existence of an ability, which has never manifested itself in a single instance since history began.
?Solomon could not keep the Proverbs so he wrote them.? The book of Proverbs needs for its complement the New Testament explanation of helplessness and offer of help: <431505>John 15:5 ? ?apart from me ye can do nothing?; 6:37 ? him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.? The palsied man?s inability to walk is very different from his indisposition to accept a remedy. The paralytic cannot climb the cliff but by a rope let down to him he may be lifted up, provided he will permit himself to be tied to it. Darling, in Presb. and Ref. Rev., July, 1901:505 ? ?If bidden, we can stretch out a withered arm; but God does not require this of one born armless. We may ?hear the voice of the Son of God? and ?live?
( <430525>John 5:25), but we shall not bring out of the tomb faculties not possessed before death.?
D. Practical evil of the belief. The practical evil attending the preaching of natural ability furnishes a strong argument against it. The Scriptures, in their declarations of the sinner?s inability and helplessness, aim to shut him up to sole dependence upon God for salvation. The doctrine of natural ability, assuring him that he is able at once to repent and turn to God, encourages delay by putting salvation at all times within his reach. If a single volition will secure it, he may be saved as easily tomorrow as today. The doctrine of inability presses men to immediate acceptance of God?s offers, lest the day of grace for them pass by.
He who cares most for self is he in whom self becomes thoroughly subjected and enslaved to external influences. <401625>Matthew 16:25 ? ?whosoever would save his life shall lose it.? The selfish man is a straw on the surface of a rushing stream. He becomes more and more a victim of circumstance, until at last he has no more freedom than the brute. <194920> Psalm 49:20 ? ?Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish;? see R. T. Smith, Man?s Knowledge of Man and of God, 121. Robert Browning, unpublished poem: ??Would a man ?scape the rod?? Rabbi Ben Karshook saith, See that he turn to God The day before his death.? ?Aye, could a man inquire When it shall come?? I say. The Rabbi?s eye shoots fire ? ?Then let him turn today.??
Let us repeat that the denial to man of all ability, whether natural or moral, to turn himself to God or to do that which is truly good in God?s sight does not imply a denial of man?s power to order his external life in many particulars conformably to moral rules or even to attain the praise of men
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