Predestination

When I consider the absolute independency of God, and the necessary total dependence of all created things on Him, their first cause, I cannot help standing astonished at the pride and impotent, degenerate man, who is so prone to consider himself as a being possessed of sovereign freedom, and invested with a power of self-salvation, able, he imagines, to counteract the designs even of infinity wisdom, and to defeat the agency of Omnipotence itself.  You shall be as gods, said the tempter to Eve in Paradise; and you are as gods, says the same tempter, now, to her apostate sons.  One would be apt to think that a suggestion so demonstrably false and flattering; a suggestions the very reverse of what we feel to be our state; a suggestion alike contrary to Scripture and reason, to fact and experience, could never meet with the smallest degree of credit.  And yet, because it so exactly coincides with the natural haughtiness of the human heart, men not only admit, but even relish the deception, and fondly incline to believe that the father of lies does, in this instance at least, speak truth.

The Scripture doctrine of predestination lays the axe to the very root of this potent delusion.  It assures us that all things are of God; that all our times and all events are in His hand.  Consequently, that man’s business below is to fill up the departments and to discharge the several offices assigned him in God’s purpose from everlasting; and that, having lived his appointed time, and finished his allotted course of action and suffering, he that moment quits the stage of terrestrial life, and removes to the invisible state.

– Augustus Toplady from the preface to Absolute Predestination by Jerome Zanchius

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