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On the Idea that prevails among many, that
God is, in a proper sense, the Author of Sin. AMONG all the horrid calumnies that have undeservedly been cast upon the character of the God of Love, the fountain of all goodness, and the well-spring of all life & happiness, there is none more horrid, and yet in many places none more common, than that of making God the Author, or, as others say the Creatorof sin.
If I had a father, or a friend, and should hear him branded with any piece of conduct half so black as this charge makes the God of Purity, I should endeavor to vindicate his character, and shew the baseness & fatshood of the charge - And can I hold my peace, and not endeavor to vindicate that most sacred character of Jeho. vah, that is daily disgraced by this blasphemous and malicious charge ? No; I will refute it, if possible.
When the consequences of any position are absurd, the position itself cannot be true, and ought to be rejected.
Arguments against God's being the Author,
Creator, or, in any proper sense, the Cause of sin.
1. IF God is the creator, or cause of sin, thien did Christ come into the world to destroy his Father's works or decrees, which is absurd.
Christ did not come to destroy and put away the works of his father, ;
But he was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, and put away our sins ::
Ergo, sin cannot be the procluction of God.
The major is self-evielent; the minor is prov ed by 1 John ni. 5, S.
Therefore the conclusion inevitably follows:
2. God camot bring forth a production contrary to his nature :
Therefore, he is not the author of sin.
3. The law of God forbids sin, in the most peremptory manner;
But God cannot deny himself, nor forbid his own clecrees.
Therefore, sin is not produced by the decrees of God.
What should we think of a tyrant that should send forth a proclamation, that none of his subjects should rebel, but at the same time should secretly purpose that they should all rebel ; and by his influence should cause them to commit those acts thai could not possibly be done without involving the actors in high treason.
Far be it from us to have such thoughts of God! and yet, if he is the author of sin, we must have such thoughts and worse, of a Being infinitely powerful, who should by a law forbid sin, and yet by his decree command it. Such duplicity might well become the foe of God and man, but never the great Jehovah, the Being of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness.
4. God's works were all good; he shall rejoice in luis works ; he loveth all things that he
hath made, and hateth nothing that he hath created.
But sin is evil; God cannot delight therein : he cannot look upon it ; it is that which his soul hateth, the abominable and acursed thing which is most offensive to him:
Therefore, sin was not brought into being by God: neither is he the author of it, either morally or physically.
5. Men ought to love and delight in all that God produceth ;
But they are forbidden to delight in sin; yea, they are commanded to hate it :
Therefore, sin is not one of the divine productions.
6. Men shall be commended and rewarded for doing the will of God from the heart;
But God will never commend them for sinning, but contrariwise, will punish themsin proportion to their crimes :
Which plainly shews, that sinning is not performing the will of God.
7. Jf God can decree or bring forth sin, the following absurdities will follow : viz.
Love can produce or bring forth enmity ; justice, injustice; holiness can bring forth unholiness ; truth can beget falshood; light,darkness; and goodness may be the parent of evil. Purity may generate impurity; and perfection may cause imperfection, &c. These and a thousand absurdities, will follow the supposition that God is the creator of sin. These absurdities are as great, as for a fountain to send orth salt water and fresh at the same time.
But some will say, that unless God produceth all evil as well as all good, he cannot be in-finitely as well as absolutely perfect.
To this I answer, that this is just as absurd. as it would be to say, that the sun in the firma. ment would have a perfection greater, upon the supposition that it could emit cold and darkness, than it now has when it can send forth nothing but light and heat. Whereas all reasonable men will allow, that the highest possible perfection we can suppose in the sum, is the impossibility of its emiting any thing but light and licat: aud that it would be a great imperfection in the sun, if it were possble for it to send forth darkness or coli.
Thus, “ God is light, and in him is no darkness at all :” all good proceeds from him, but no evil: “God cannot be tempted with evil ; neither tenipteth he any man. Every good gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Lights,rrith whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James i. 13, 17.
The highest perfection of God, consists in the absolute impossibility of evil, or sin, proceeding from him : but if he is the cause or author, and especially the creator of sin, there is far more than the shadow of a turning in hin : there is, in that case, variableness indeed, in Him who is call unchangeable ; which is blasphemy to suppose.
But when I have reasoned thus with some, they have brought these words of Scripime; * Shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord
hath not done it?» Amos iïi. 6. To which I answer, Non malum peccatum, sed mala pæna : Not the evil of sin, but the evil of punishment.
I am told this is a sophistical distinction of the schoolmen. Possibly it may be theirs ; I : have never read any of their works : but this distinction is founded in the nature of things, in my opinion : for war, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, fire, &c. &c. are punishments in. flicted on the account of sin ; and the more these are proved to be inflicted by the hand of God, the more evident it is that he is not the author, creator, or cause of sin ; for then how should God be just in punishing men for sin, if he wille ed them to sin! Who can answer this?
I have, in my time, conversed with two sorts of people that believe God to be the author of what I call sin, that are consistent with them, selves. One party declare that God brought sin and misery into the world for his own glory, and the greatest possible advantage to the universe at large ; and that the same reasons which first induced him to cause the existence of sin, and its consequences, guilt, fear, pain, sorrow, &€, will also cause him to continue them in being while he exists.
A divine of this class has asserted, that "If the fire of hell should ever go out, the light of heaven would no longer shine ; and that every defree of misery that the damned in hell endure, increases the happiness of the saints in heaven,
ions of millions of degrees.”