But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,…
I look upon this earth in which I live. I find it grasped and girded by God's all-embracing laws, as of gravitation, of the ebb and flow of the tides, of light, of the procession of the seasons — all utterly and absolutely beyond my control. They reach above, beneath, around, within me; I cannot touch them. There they are; unalterable, unswerving, necessitated — in its profoundest sense, predestinated. And what is the issue of obedience to these laws? Happiness, in the measure of such obedience. Is that no revelation of the character of the God of the universe. No revelation! I could shut my Bible, and from creation — from the meanest flower that blows, up to the stars that hang like lamps before the great white throne — find infinite proofs that my God is also my Father. Exactly so, I cannot tell how free will, choice, contingency, accord with predestination, election, foreordination, substitution. I do not feel that I am called upon to do so. But as we have seen, our own consciousness attests the former, while the Word of God recognizes and addresses them — recognizes and addresses man as free to think, feel, will, choose, reject. Equally does the Word of God affirm the latter. I therefore accept them also, and can defer knowing how the All-wise harmonizes them, until He pleases to reveal them to me. Nay, more, I have deepest belief that even as the physical world is grasped and girded by its great laws, so must the other and grander world of mind have underneath it, like the granite base of the everlasting hills, above it, like the dome of the sky, kindred laws. These laws I recognize and accept in predestination, election, foreordination, substitution.
(A. B. Grosart, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,