FREE MORAL AGENCY.

Concluded from the last paper.

     This Bible view of God is not only thus personally blessed to the Christian, but it assures us of another thing. God's plans and purposes are being carried out. Amid all the mutations of earthly things, its sin and sorrow, and tears, and woe, runs the golden thread of God's "purpose of the ages," (Eph. 3:11, N.V.*, margin), binding all together and to the eternal throne, and leading the creature unerringly to the final goal-the image of the Creator.

     Not only is it true that God's plans are not retarded or hindered by the wickedness of man, but God uses wicked men to advance His plans. He not only does not allow the wrath of man to work against Him, but He causes it to praise Him. How wonderful is all this! There is nothing to fear. God reigneth. "He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." If we can only see this great truth, and, in some degree, realize it, we shall have no cares and no anxiety either about ourselves or concerning God's work. All things work together for good. We have seen how some things, apparently evil, and only evil, have nevertheless under God worked together for good: though in the beginning they seemed to be all bad, yet in the end good has been the result. Can we not believe that this is true in all cases? Is it not certain that this is thus true? If God is almighty and all wise need he allow anything to take place that he cannot bring good out of in the end? Would He allow any such thing to happen? Surely not; to suppose such a thing would be to make God less than infinite, i.e., to dethrone him altogether. Hence it follows,-and the conclusion is wonderful as well as inevitable, mark it well-that all the events transpiring around us in the world, all the movements and actions to man, good and bad (as we term them) are all woven into the warp and woof of God's great plan-light and shade, bright threads and somber ones, tears and laughter, woe and joy, and even good and evil-all woven in to make the grand pattern of that rare tapestry that shall carpet and adorn eternity. Now we are looking at the wrong side of the figure, and we see many tangled and apparently ill assorted threads, disconnected ends and unsightly knots. But, ah! when we reach the other side! the fair pattern, the rich figure, the exquisite blending of color, in God's finished work! Then we shall exclaim, "O, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out?"

*i.e. New Version; refers to The English Revised Version of 1881-1885 (RSV)

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