its own darkness must brood, till he to whom alone the darkness and the light are both alike; to whom the night shineth as the day, says ?Let there be light!??
We must remember, however, that the decree of redemption is as old as the decree of the apostasy. The provision of salvation in Christ shows at how great a cost to God was permitted the fall of the race in Adam. He who ordained sin also ordained atonement for and a way of escape from sin. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:388 ? ?The permission of sin has cost God more than it has man. No sacrifice and suffering on account of sin has been undergone by any man, equal to that which has been endured by an incarnate God. This shows that God is not acting selfishly in permitting it.? On the permission of moral evil, see Butler, Analogy, Bohn?s ed., 177, 232 ? ?The Government of God, and Christianity, as Schemes imperfectly Comprehended?; Hill, System of Divinity, 528-559; Ulrici, art.: Theodicee, in Herzog?s Encyclopadie; Cunningham, Historical Theology, 2:416-489; Patton, on Retribution and the Divine Purpose, in Princeton Rev., 1878:16-23; Bibliotheca Sacra, 20:471-488; Wood, The Witness of Sin.
IV. CONCLUDING REMARKS. 1. Practical uses of the doctrine of decrees.
(a) It inspires humility by its representation of God?s unsearchable counsels and absolute sovereignty.
(b) It teaches confidence in him who has wisely ordered our birth, our death and our surroundings, even to the minutest particulars and has made all things work together for the triumph of his kingdom and the good of those who love him.
(c) It shows the enemies of God that as their sins have been foreseen and provided for in God?s plan, so they can never, while remaining in their sins, hope to escape their decreed and threatened penalty.
(d) It urges the sinner to avail himself of the appointed means of grace, if he would be counted among the number of those for whom God has decreed salvation.
This doctrine is one of those advanced teachings of Scripture, which requires for its understanding a matured mind and a deep experience. The beginner in the Christian life may not see its value or even its truth, but
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