Owen and Edwards on creation's First Cause...

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Two Puritan quotes came across my desk last week, one from Chris Taylor and the other from Iain Murray's biography of Jonathan Edwards. Both demonstrate the biblical wisdom our church fathers brought from the Word of God into every other area of human knowledge. These particular quotes demonstrate the timelessness of their perceptions concerning God's Creation as we look backwards from this time in which Darwinists are so loathe, in the main, to admit that "It is He Who hath made us, and not we ourselves."

John Owen:

(In this sermon, Owen is speaking of the variety of ways God's providence guides His gracious act of election and regeneration.)

"Now, is all this variety, think you, to be ascribed unto chance, as the philosopher thought the world was made by a casual concurrence of atoms? Or hath the idol free-will, with the new goddess contingency, ruled in these dispensations? Truly neither the one nor the other, no more than the fly raised the dust by sitting on the chariot wheel;--but all these thing have come to pass according to a certain unerring rule, given them by God's determinate purpose and counsel." (Owen, John. Works, Vol. VIII, 12. This sermon was preached in 1646)

Chris Taylor's comment: I find Owen's logic interesting. As evolutionists refuse to attribute glory to God's wisdom and power in the creation of man, so Arminians refuse to give God the glory in the re-creation of men in regeneration.

Jonathan Edwards:

"An infinite length of time has no tendency to alter the case. If we should suppose people traveling in the snow, one after another, thousands in a day for thousands of years together, and all should tread exactly without the least variation in one another's steps so as, in all this time, to make no beaten path but only steps with the snow not broken between, this is a demonstration of intention, design, and care. Or if we suppose that, in the showers of rain that fall out of the clouds on all the face of the earth for a whole year, the drops should universally fall in order on the ground so as to describe such figures that would be Roman letters in such exact order as to be Virgil's Aeneid written on every acre of ground all over the world, or so as exactly to write the history of the world and all nations and families in it through all ages without departing from truth in one fact or minutest circumstance - that would distinctly demonstrate a designing cause. Length of time has no tendency at all to produce such an effect of itself. If we multiply years never so much to give large opportunity, it helps not the case without a designing cause." (Murray, Iain. Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust. pp. 139-140.)