and that in proportion to the established character of his reputation.? There is so much clearly indicating the benevolence of God, that we may believe in his benevolence, where we cannot see it.?
For advocacy of the view that God cannot prevent evil in a moral system, see Birks, Difficulties of Belief, 17; Young, The Mystery, or Evil not from God; Bledsoe, Theodicy; N. W. Taylor, Moral Government, 1:288- 349; 2:327-356. According to Dr. Taylor?s view, God has not a complete control over the moral universe; moral agents can do wrong under every possible influence to prevent it. God prefers, all things considered, that all his creatures should be holy and happy, and does all in his power to make them so; the existence of sin is not on the whole for the best. Sin exists because God cannot prevent it in a moral system. The blessedness of God is actually impaired by the disobedience of his creatures. For criticism of these views, see Tyler, Letters on the New Haven Theology, 120, 219. Tyler argues that election and non-election imply power in God to prevent sin; that permitting is not mere submitting to something, which he could not possibly prevent. We would add that as a matter of fact God has preserved holy angels, and that there are ?just men? who have been ?made perfect? ( <581223>Hebrews 12:23) without violating the laws of moral agency. We infer that God could have so preserved Adam. The history of the church leads us to believe that there is no sinner so stubborn that God cannot renew his heart ? even a Saul can be turned into a Paul. We hesitate, therefore to ascribe limits to God?s power. While Dr. Taylor held that God could not prevent sin in a moral system, that is, in any moral system, Dr. Park is understood to hold the greatly preferable view that God cannot prevent sin in the best moral system. Flint, Christ?s Kingdom upon Earth, 59 ? ?The alternative is, not evil or no evil, but evil or the miraculous prevention of evil.? See Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:406422.
But even granting that the present is the best moral system, and that in such a system evil cannot be prevented consistently with God?s wisdom and goodness, the question still remaining how the decree to initiate such a system can consist with God?s fundamental attribute of holiness. Of this insoluble mystery we must say as Dr. John Brown, in Spare Hours, 273, says of Arthur H. Hallam?s Theodic^a Novissima: ?As was to be expected, the tremendous subject remains where he found it. His glowing love and genius cast a gleam here and there across its gloom, but it is as brief as the lightning in the collied night ? the jaws of darkness do devour it up ? this secret belongs to God. Across its deep and dazzling darkness, and from out its abyss of thick cloud, all dark, dark, irrecoverably dark, no steady ray has ever or will ever come; over its face
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