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nothing else. Free agency must be the same in all intelligent beings. l God can possess no.higher moral freedom, than freedom of choice, it is very certain, that nankind cannot possess any higher moral freedom tban freedom of choice. This freedom we know we possess by our own experience ; and therefore know what cur free agency is, as well as we know what our reason, or conscience is.

2. If the free, moral agency of God consists in vo. lition or choice ; then there may be as many free, mor. al agents, as there are intelligent creatures in this, or any other world It is often said, that if God be a free, moral, universal agent, there can be but one free, moral agent in the universe. But there is no ground to draw this inference from God's universal agency. He may act upon the minds of all his rational creatures, without infringing upon their free, moral agency, in the least degree. As his giving them existence does not imply, that they do not exist ; and as his giving them perception, reason and conscience does not imply, that they have not perception, reason and conscience; 80 his giving them an heart, which consists in free, volun. tary exercises, does not imply, that they have not free, voluntary exercises, or perfect moral freedom. God's acting on their hearts and producirg all their free, voluntary, moral exercises, is so far from preventing them from being moral agents, that it necessarily makes them moral agents. If his agency deprived them of their reason and all their moral and intellectual faculties, it would indeed deprive them of moral agency ; but so long as it leaves them in the full possession of all their moral and intellectual faculties, it leaves them in the full possession of their moral agenry. that men cannot be free agents un ier the universal agency af God, is virtually to say, that God cannot nu ke free, moral agents. Nen are as much free, voluntary, moral agents, while dependent on Creand under his universal agency, as if they were self existent and independent of all other beings. Thei derondance on God and his certrolling power over hen are jichte ctly consistent, with their enjoying the same free, morat

To say,

agency that God himself enjoys. He enjoys no other free, moral agency than what consists in his volition ; and they enjoy all the free, moral agency, that consists in their volitions. He is voluntary in acting : and so are they. The apostle accordingly represents men as acting freely and voluntarily under a divine operation on their hearts.

He calls upon men to work out their own salvation, for it is God that worketh in them both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. Though God exercises a controlling influence over every intelligent creature in the universe, yet every intelligent creature is a free, moral agent. It is extremely unreasonable and unscriptural for mankind to deny God's universal agency, or their own free moral agency. For reason, scripture and experience require them to believe both. Both are as certain, as God's existence and their own.

8 If God be a universal agent, then to deny his universal agency is virtually to deny his existence, which amounts to perfect infidelity. God founds his claim to divinity upon his universal agency; and implicitly says that he should not be God, if he did not form the light & create darkness, make peace and create evil. This is strictly true. For if he be God, he is the Creator of all things; and if he be the Creator of all things, he must be the upholder, preserver, and disposer of all things. If he be the free, moral agent, who brought all things into existence, he is morally obliged to exercise an universal agency in supporting and governing all things. If he be God, he must be perfectly wise and good; and if he is perfectly wise and good, he must exercise a universal and powerful agency over all his creatures and all his works and dispose of them in the wisest and best manner 'possible. To deny his universal agency is to impeach both his wisdom and goodness, which is virtually de. nying his divinity, or his eternal power and Godhead. To deny his universal agency implies one of these two things, either that he cannot exercise an universal agency, or that he neglects to do it ; but neither the one nor the other is consistent with his being what he claims to be, the only living and true God; and therefore the denial is either open infidelity, or impious blasphemy. I would not, however, be understood to assert, that all, who deny God's universal agency, mean to be infidels, or blasphemers. But. though they do not know, that to deny God's universal agency is either infidelity or blasphemy, yet it ought to be known that it is so, by those who call it blaspheny to say, that God does exercise an universal agency over all his intelligent creatures, whether holy, or unholy. We often hear it said, that those, who maintain and teach, that God does exercise an universal agency, and is concerned in the production of all the good and evil that takes place in any part of the universe, are guilty of blasphemy. But it is certainly very unjust and censorious to charge all, wbo believe and maintain an important truth, which is plainly revealed and taught from the beginning to the end of the Bible, with blasphemy. It is difficult to mention a more important truth than the universal agency of God. It lies at the foundation of all religion and deeply affects the whole intelligent universe. For if he did not exercise an universal agency over all his creatures and works, he would not be worthy of the supreme love and entire confidence of any of his creatures. It argues profound ignorance, or bold presumption, to charge any one with blasphemy, for maintaining or teaching the universal agency of God, which reflects the highest honour upon him.

4. If God exercises an universal agency over all his creatures and works ; then we may confidently conclude, that he is constantly carrying into execution all his original and eternal purposes, by every thing that takes place in every part of the universe. For such and only such events take place, as are brought about by his own wise and powerful agency. He perfectly knows his own designs, and the best means to accomplish them; and he has all means and second causes in his band, which he will certainly employ to answer his own purposes.

When he has occasion to form light, he will form light; when he has occasion to create

darkness, he will create it; when he has occasion to make peace, he will make it; wen he was occiin to create evil, he vill core it; and he is casiantly doing all these things according to the counsel of his own will and for the accomplement of ois own purposes. He brings about one event a fer another in ihai or ier and coanection, which will mi liecily ani speedily answer his original design. He makes no mistakes, nor retrograde move nents, but constantly and irresistibly bows all hearts and bends all event in ubserviency to his ultimate end in creation. God has crealed so little light and so little peace and so much darkness, and so much evil, that mankia have been ready to say, "the Lori hain forsaken the earth.” he hath glected to govern the world, he haih noved things backward rather than forward, he has counteracteal rather than promoted his own purposes. Such has been the language of some and the thoughts of ten thousand :nore. But God's thoughts have been above their thoughts and his ways above their ways. He has kept his eye and his heart upon his own designs and exerted his universal

and almighiy agency, in producing just so much light 7 and darkness ; so much peace and evil, as he saw necessary to accomplish the n.

H has never neglected to do what it was best for hiin t)do, nor Deen slack in fulfilling his purposes and promises. Nr has he ever failed to make his creaturas, do what he saw necessary for them to do, in order to fulfil bis purposes. Divine agency is not like human agency. Hunan agency is visible. Mankind see each other act. but the divine agency is invisible. They cannot see the hand of God which governs the world. He can work and none can let it. He can move those, who imagine that they move theinselves, He can giile those, who imagine that they guide themselves. He can make those an. swer his designs, who imagine that they are only answering their own. And he can defeat their

purposes, while they imagine he is pr moting men. It is, there

ore, just as certain, that God is constantly and irre. sistibly carrying into execution all his original and eternal purposes, by all the evil as well as the good that


takes place, as that he is able and disposed to do all his pleasure.

5. If God exercises an universal agency upon the hearts of men ; then he can form as many vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath as he decreed to form, in perfect consistency with their free agency. Divine agency & human agency are perfectly consistent. Divine agency consists in free, voluntary exercises ; and humana gency consists in free, voluntary exercises. God can make men act right, freely, and act wrong, freely. He can make them love and bate, chouse and refuse ; ? and consequently can mould and fashion their hearts just as he pleases, consistently with their perfect free agency. He has always been forming vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath from the beginning of the world to this day; and he is now exercising his powerful and irresistible agency upon the heart of every one of the human race and producing either holy or unboly exercises in it. The vessels of mercy act freely in embracing the gospel ; and the vessels of wrath act freely in rejecting it. He can make as many as he pleases embrace the gospel in the day of his power, in one place and another. All sinners are in his hand as the clay is the hand of the potter; and he can turn the beart of one as easily as the heart of another from sin to holiness, fron enmity to love, and from opposition to entire submission. Though God is creating darkness rather than light, and evil rather than good, here and in ten thousand other places in the world ; yet the time may not be far distant, when he will form light and not darkness, inake peace and not evil, here and all over the earth. His hand is not shortened that it cannot save, as well as destroy. His purposes have not changed, nor will his promises fail. He will work and none shall let it. He will display the riches of his grace here and every where else, as fully and as fast as possible. He is turning and overturning things in both the natural and moral world, as fast as possible, in favour of both Jews and Gentiles. He created darkness to prepare the way for light; and evil to prepare the way for peace. There is no ground for despondency under the universal agency and government of God. It

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