Spurgeon, Autobiography, 1:176, and The Best Bread, 109 ? ?The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line but two, and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. These two facts [of divine sovereignty and of human freedom] are parallel lines; I cannot make them unite and you cannot make them cross each other.? John A. Broadus: ?You can see only two sides of a building at once; if you go around it, you see two different sides, but the first two are hidden. This is true if you are on the ground. But if you get up upon the roof or in a balloon, you can see that there are four sides, and you can see them all together. So our finite minds can take in sovereignty and freedom alternately, but not simultaneously. God from above can see them both and from heaven we too may be able to look down and see.?
(d) Since the decrees connect means and ends together, and ends are decreed only as the result of means, they encourage effort instead of discouraging it. Belief in God?s plan that success shall reward toil incites to courageous and persevering effort. Upon the very ground of God?s decree, the Scripture urges us to the diligent use of means.
God has decreed the harvest only as the result of man?s labor in sowing and reaping; God decrees wealth to the man who works and saves; so answers are decreed to prayer, and salvation to faith. Compare Paul?s declaration of God?s purpose ( <442722>Acts 27:22, 24 ? ?there shall he no loss of life among you? God hath granted thee all them that sail with thee?) with his warning to the centurion and sailors to use the means of safety (verse 31 ? ?Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved?). See also <503512>Philippians 2:12, 13 ? ?work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure?; <490210>Ephesians 2:10 ? ?we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for goad works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them?; <052929>Deuteronomy 29:29 ? ?the secret things belong ?into Jehovah our God: but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.? See Bennet Tyler, Memoir and Lectures, 252-254.
<195910> Psalm 59:10 (A.V.) ? ?The God of my mercy shall prevent me? ? shall anticipate, or go before, me; <236524>Isaiah 65:24 ? ?before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear?; <192302>Psalm 23:2 ? ?He leadeth me?; <431003>John 10:3 ? ?calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.? These texts describe prevenient grace in prayer, in conversion and in Christian work. Plato called reason and sensibility a mismatched pair ? one of which was always getting ahead of the other.
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