Newton County, GA., 1856.
BROTHER BEEBE: - I seize the present opportunity to pen a few thoughts upon a Scriptural subject of vast interest. In Jer. 32:35, we find the following language, “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”
The eternal God in immutable. Man is a frail, mutable creature. The government of God over all world’s, creatures and things is a sublime scriptural truth. National Judah at the time of the foregoing declaration was in a state of rebellion in a violation of the command of God. The most degrading species of idolatry was manifest in its most cruel form. As God has not commanded anything but what is consistent with his perfections, those Jews were doing that which God said he had not commanded them. It had not entered into the mind of the Lord that they should do any such wickedness. The auxiliary verb should is expressive of a power to compel them to act. When a word is used to express an idea the connection will sustain its use and meaning. They were voluntary in their wickedness, for God did not command them, neither did it enter into his mind to cause them, or that they should do this great wickedness. It is atheism to suppose that infinite Wisdom had no knowledge of the course they would pursue beforehand. The wicked motives and acts of men are embraced in the divine arrangement. How could Jehovah by the prophet specify definitely seventy years in the captivity of the Jews, if it was not settled in his mind? Many persons have concluded that sovereign Predestination makes God the author of sin simply because the sinful motives and acts of wicked men and devils, are as much known and settled in the counsel of Jehovah, as the good motives and acts of men, angels, and heavenly beings, are settled in his mind. The word predestinate is used in the Scriptures in reference to things purposed to transpire in time, and which will roll round in the order and way which is known to Infinite Wisdom. If the course of wicked men and devils are not known to God, and the bounds of their habitation set, or fixed, what encouragement can we have that the purpose of God in the salvation of sinners may not be impaired or frustrated. The absolute and essential perfections of Jehovah, secure, and sustain the accomplishment of all he has purposed and designed. The Lord said, “I form the light, and I create darkness; I make peace and evil; I the Lord do all these things.”