Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

ANDORR: HARVARD THEOLOGICAL LIBRARY CAMBRIDGE, MAS

BY GEORGE A. BAXTER, D. D.
PROFESSOR IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, VA.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD.

ISAIAH 46:10. My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.

These words assert the complete sovereignty of God. In the context, God is contrasted with the idols of the heathen, who cannot move out of their place; who are unconscious of the worship paid them, and who can. not hear when worshippers cry. On the other hand, Jehovah is represented as carrying his people from the beginning of their national existence, and as “declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things not yet done,” saying, “my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.'

The sovereignty expressed in the text, cannot be confined to the mere external government of nations, the raising up of one, and the casting down of another; the assigning victory to some, and of defeat and ruin to others. It is a Sovereignty, connected with his declaring “the end from the beginning," and comprehends the power of fulfilling the predictions, of the word of God. The unconditional fulfilment of the prophecies, and especially the promises of the Bible, contains undeniable evidence of the most incomprehensible exercise of Divine Sovereignty, the sovereignty which controls all the movements of the human heart. When God promises the extension of his church, this implies the power of converting his enemies into friends, for in no other way can the church be extended; when he promises to bring all nations into the church, and to cover the whole earth with the knowledge of God, this implies the power, of converting all sinners of every discription, and of making them obedient to the truth.

This power of governing the human heart, is the most important as well as the most incomprehensible part of Divine Sovereignty; it is the power of governing moral agents as such, without impairing their moral agency. It supposes the man to be left in possession of all that freedom of which the human mind is conscious, and yet to be so overruled in all his actions as to preserve the Divine plans from violation, and make all human conduct subservient to the Divine counsels. The wise man says the king's heart is in the hands of the Lord, as the rivers of water he turneth it whitherso. ever he will;" and the same must be true of every human heart, otherwise God could not accomplish his purposes, “and do all his pleasure.”

« PreviousContinue »