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§ 6. Objections.

There are no specific objections against the doctrine of efficacious grace which need to be considered. Those which are commonly urged are pressed with equal force against other allied doctrines, and have already come under review. Thus, —

1. It is urged that this doctrine destroys human responsibility. If we need a change which nothing but almighty power can effect before we can do anything spiritually good, we cease to be responsible. This is the old objection that inability and responsibility are incompatible. This difficulty has been presented thousands of times in the history of the Church, and has been a thousand times answered. It assumes unwarrantably that an inability which arises from character, and constitutes character, is incompatible with character.

2. It is objected that if nothing but the creative power of God can enable us to repent and believe, we must patiently wait until that power is exerted. It is thus doubtless that those reason who are in love with sin and do not really desire to be delivered from it. Some leper, when Christ was upon earth, might have been so unreasonable as to argue that because he could not heal himself, he must wait until Christ came to heal him. The natural effect, however, of a conviction of utter helplessness is to impel to earnest application to the source whence alone help can come. And to all who feel their sinfulness and their inability to deliver themselves, there is the promise, “Come unto me . . . . and I will give you rest.” “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” It will be time enough for any man to complain when he fails to experience Christ’s healing 710power, after having sought it as long, as earnestly, and as submissively to the directions of God’s Word as its importance demands; or, even with the assiduity and zeal with which men seek the perishing things of this life.

3. It is objected that a doctrine which supposes the intervention of the immediate agency of the Great First Cause in the development of history, or regular series of events, is contrary to all true philosophy, and inconsistent with the relation of God to the world. This is a point, however, as to which philosophy and the Bible, and not the Bible only, but also natural religion, are at variance. The Scriptures teach the doctrines of creation, of a particular providence, of supernatural revelation, of inspiration, of the incarnation, of miracles, and of a future resurrection, all of which are founded on the assumption of the supernatural and immediate agency of God. If the Scriptures be true, the philosophy which denies the possibility of such immediate intervention, must be false. There every Christian is willing to leave the question.

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