2 Lines, not 1

“The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the Gospel until he knows how to look at two lines at once.  For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, ‘The Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’  Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that, ‘it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.’  I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free-will.  Now if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over-rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once in Antinomianism or fatalism.

That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly.  They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other.  If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is foreordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other.  I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity.  They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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