Excerpt from The Works of Leonard Woods, D.D, Vol. 4 of 5: Lately Professor of Christian Theology in the Theological Seminary, Andover
It has no proof, either from facts, or from the nature of the subject. Apprehension of what would result from the conversion of more sinners. Proof that God is able to convert more sinners. 1. From his omnipotence. 2. From what he has done. 3. From prayer. 4. From the representation, that God converts men according to his will or pleasure; Further notice of the question, whether God could have secured the holiness of any moral being without the influence of moral evil. The doctrine of moral necessity applied to the subject. The position, that sin is the necessary means of the greatest good, particularly considered. Inference from the fact, that God makes use of sin as a means of preserving moral beings in holiness. Reasoning in regard to the phrase, that sin, so far as it exists, is preferable to holiness in its stead. The expression, sin is, in respect to divine prevention, incidental to the best moral system; Whether the common position is consistent with the prohibition and punishment of sin, and with the sincerity of God. Can a person sin with a benevolent intention? Case of the Canaanites. Objection of the caviller, Rom. iii. Dr. Taylor's scheme does not remove difficulties. Is virtue founded in utility? Intimation that the orthodox consider sin to be excellent in its nature. Sorrow for sin. We must regard sin as it is in itself. Distinction between God's agency and man's. Intention of the sinner. Intention of the sinner and of God distinguished. Conduct of Joseph's brethren, and death of Christ. Results of the theory; Influence of Dr. Taylor's theory compared with the common, in relation to the power of God, his blessedness, the system of his works, his dominion, the happiness of the good, submission, prayer, humility, and dependence. Coincidence with Pelagians, Arminians, etc. Particular things to be explained; Quotations from Concio ad Clerum
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