A Letter To A Brother in Christ – April 2nd, 1867
Dear Mr. King—I am sorry that you should take the trouble of reading such books as that from which you have sent me an extract; especially as you acknowledge that the reading of it produced much hardness, barrenness, coldness, and deadness in your soul. Indeed to my mind the title of the book is itself sufficient to condemn it. Predestination as a divine truth is not to be calmly considered from principles of reason, being in a Christian point of view wholly a matter of divine revelation. The great Apostle of the Gentiles who has laid it down so clearly and fully (Rom. 9), does not attempt to reason about it; but, in answer to one who does, says, “No but, O man, who are you that replies against God?” and in Romans 11:33, shuts the whole matter up in the words “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”
I do not feel disposed, therefore, to examine the extract which you have sent me; though, as far as I have looked at it, it seems to me both erroneous and sophistical. Thus he speaks of the existence of sin being in consequence of the sovereign appointment of God. Now I do not believe that this is Scripture doctrine, nor do I know a single passage even bearing that way. I fully believe that the entrance of sin into the world, and of death by sin, was according to the permissive will of God, for without it it could not have entered; but not appointed by Him in the same way as what is good, for such an assertion, reason how we may, would make God the Author of sin. I think, also, that all his reasonings about sin being a creature and such metaphysical subtleties are mere sophisms. Two things are very evident; first, that sin is a most dreadful evil, hateful to God, and calling down His displeasure and righteous punishment; and secondly, that there is no remedy for this dreadful evil, except through the incarnation and blood shedding of the Son of God. Here I rest, not being willing to trouble my mind with daring reasonings of men destitute of godliness, and here I advise you to rest too.
Yours very sincerely, for truth’s sake,
J. C. P.