author of sin be meant the sinner, the agent, or the actor of sin, or the doer of a wicked thing ? so it would be a reproach and blasphemy to suppose God to be the author of sin? but if by author of sin is meant the permitter or non-hinderer of sin, and at the same time a disposer of the state of events in such a manner, for wise, holy, and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted and not hindered, will most certainly follow, I do not deny that God is the author of sin; it is no reproach to the Most High to be thus the author of sin.? On the objection that the doctrine of decrees imputes to God two wills, and that he has foreordained what he has forbidden, see Bennett Tyler, Memoir and Lectures, 250-252 ? ?A ruler may forbid treason; but his command does not oblige him to do all in his power to prevent disobedience to it. It may promote the good of his kingdom to suffer the treason to be committed, and the traitor to be punished according to law. That in view of this resulting good he chooses not to prevent the treason, does not imply any contradiction or opposition of will in the monarch.?
An ungodly editor excused his vicious journalism by saying that he was not ashamed to describe anything, which Providence had permitted to happen. But ?permitted? here had an implication of causation. He laid the blame of the evil upon Providence. He was ashamed to describe many things that were good and which God actually caused, while he was not ashamed to describe the immoral things which God did not cause, but only permitted men to cause. In this sense we may assent to Jonathan Edwards?s words: ?The divine Being is not the author of sin, but only disposes things in such a manner that sin will certainly ensue.? These words are found in his treatise on Original Sin. In his Essay on Freedom of the Will, he adds a doctrine of causation which we must repudiate: ?The essence of virtue and vice, as they exist in the disposition of the heart, and are manifested in the acts of the will, lies not in their Cause but in their Nature.? We reply that sin could not be condemnable in its nature, if God and not man were its cause.
Robert Browning, Mihrab Shah: ?Wherefore should any evil hap to man ? From ache of flesh to agony of soul ? Since God?s All-mercy mates All-potency? Nay, why permits he evil to himself ? man?s sin, accounted such? Suppose a world purged of all pain, with fit inhabitant ? Man pure of evil in thought, word and deed ? were it not well? Then, wherefore otherwise?? Fairbairn answers the question, as follows, in his Christ in Modern Theology, 456 ? ?Evil once intended may be vanquished by being allowed; but were it hindered by an act of annihilation, then the evil which had compelled the Creator to retrace his steps. And, to carry the prevention backward another stage, if the possibility of evil had hindered
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