previously decreed, and DETERMINES by his secret direction, is proved by express and innumerable testimonies." (Ib. p. 211.)
Again: "If God simply foresaw the fates of men, and did not also dispose and fix them by his determination, there would be room to agitate the question, whether his providence or foresight rendered them at all necessary. But, since he foresees future events only in consequence of his decree that they shall happen, it is useless to contend about foreknowledge, while it is evident that ALL things come to pass rather by ORDINATION and DECREE." (Vol ii. p. 169.)
Again: "I shall not hesitate, therefore, to confess plainly, with Augustine, 'that the will of God is the necessity of things, and that what he has willed will necessarily come to pass.' " (Ib. p. 171.)
Again: "With respect to his secret influences, the declaration of Solomon concerning t
Christianity, like many other religions, is divided into sects that, though they all hold to basic core beliefs they all agree to, differ widely in other specifics. One such arena is the ongoing debate between Calvinists (followers of the teachings of John Calvin who believe that God's sovereignty is so great that humanity has no free will) to Arminians (followers of the teachings of John Arminius who taught that though God is sovereign, he allows humanity to exercise free will, especially in the arena of choosing for or against the offer of salvation).
The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination Examined and Refuted, by Francis Hodgson (1781-1852) is one of the best books I have ever read refuting Calvinism. His arguments appeal to sound logic and he quotes extensively from well-known Calvinists of his day making sure the reader knows what he is arguing against.
However, the book suffers from a complaint very common to Arminians in that Hodgson spends little time refuting the determinism, fatalism, and caste system of Calvinism using Scripture itself.
This is not, as Calvinists maintain, because Arminians cannot back up their beliefs with Holy Writ, but that Arminians believe that God and Christian theology is based on the ability of people to comprehend logically the simple teachings of Scripture and interpret it from simple, sound reason.
Calvinists maintain that the seeming contradiction between God's sovereignty and Scripture's appeals to the free will of humanity cannot be understood by humanity and that the paradox is an antinomy, a contradiction or opposition between two laws or rules.
It is evident the tensions between the two camps have not been settled by Hodson's brilliant defense (at least in this reviewer's opinion), but readers interested in the debate will do well to start here.