Pharaoh The Arminian
Joseph Irons | Added: Jun 25, 2016 | Category: Theology
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No language can be more plain than that which the Holy Ghost directed Paul to use in the 11th verse, of Romans chapter 9 to set forth the absolute sovereignty of God in the constitution and salvation of His Church. Divine purpose and personal election are declared to be the immutable principles of Christianity, quite irrespective of birth and of good or evil works; yea, especially opposed to fleshly claims of seniority and antiquity (v. 19); and it is difficult to account for the infatuation which sits upon the minds of multitudes about free-will, free-agency, and such like Popish dogmas, except upon the ground of gross wilful ignorance and determined rebellion against God.
So expressly does the Holy Ghost declare “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (v. 16); and to illustrate this doctrine the history of Pharaoh is introduced, that thoroughpaced Arminian, whose vaunting language was, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil”; but God had said “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, I will be honoured upon Pharaoh and upon all his host”; and we know whose “I will” stood fast! This historic fact is introduced to confirm the old Roman Catholic Faith, that salvation is an act of grace from first to last, putting a difference between the Egyptians and Israel according to the predestinating purpose of God. For this same purpose God raised up Pharaoh (v. 17), that the power and glory of the divine name might be declared throughout all the earth in this grand epitome of Gospel doctrine, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (v. 15); nor could there be a hope of salvation for any man on any other principle.
But Popery and its deformed offspring Arminianism, reject all this as heresy, cruelly attempting to rob mankind of the only possible way of salvation; for nothing can reach the case of the ruined sinner but God’s “I will have mercy!” Priestly interference is imposture — conditions and contingencies are libels — free-will assumptions are high treason against the King of Zion; and the advocates for these things must be reckoned among the worst enemies of mankind, because they conceal, pervert, and deny God’s only method of saving sinners, foisting upon millions of their devotees to priestcraft, conditions which no man can perform — delusions which no man can fathom, and terms by which God declares no man can be saved (Romans 3:20).
Free-will has led thousands to hell, but free-grace alone can people heaven; hence the Apostle contends (v. 14) that God is not unrighteous in the exercise of His own divine prerogative, shewing mercy on whom He will, since no child of Adam can be saved in any other way; and borrowing Jeremiah’s simile (v. 21), he asserts the power and sovereignty of God over fallen man, as the potter over the clay, to make, of the same degraded lump or mass, one vessel to honour and another to dishonour, without consulting the clay about it, much less waiting until the clay asks Him, or animates and partly forms itself anew, as a free-will act.
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