Nov 25, 2010

We are here charged with blaming God - William Button

"...there is a most unworthy reflection (at least it appears so to me) cast on those who differ from Mr. F.'s (Fuller) sentiments concerning faith. After attacking the Arminians, he adds, “others, that err as much on the opposite side, seem willing that God should have all the praise for the good; but then they are determined as well, eh shall have all the blame for the bad, for they will have none of it” (p. 7). The persons here alluded to, I conceive to be those who with me think the reason why many believe not, is, because they are not predestinated to eternal life, for as many as are so do believe, Acts 10:48, and our Lord gives this as a reason of unbelief, in John 10:26. Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, and because this is our sentiment we are here charged with blaming God. This is illiberal; we believe the Lord dispenses the blessings of his grace, and faith amongst the rest, according to his sovereign good will and pleasure, that he is the absolute proprietor of his own grace; that he gives it when, and where, and to whom he pleases; but are we to be considered as blaming God for not bestowing these blessings on all? We disdain the thought. There were, it seems, in the Apostle's days, some who drew such an unjust conclusion from his doctrine, which made him with earnestness reply to the adversary, “Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” No, instead of blaming God for not bestowing special faith on all, we adore his sovereignty, and admire his grace in bestowing it on any. Were I disposed to return the attack, I might ask, who casts the most blame on God, Mr. F. who asserts, it is the duty of all men to believe with a special faith, with that faith which is peculiar to the elect, which is out of their power to obtain, and the want of it is the cause of damnation; or we who believe that because this faith is a new covenant blessing, peculiar to the elect, none will be condemned by God for the want of it? But I forbear, as I am persuaded Mr. F. does not by any means intend to cast any blame on the Divine Being, however his sentiment may appear to carry that in it. I should have been glad if he had spared this invective." -William Button

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