Thoughts on Predestination and Reprobation : Part II.

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Pagan - said I - I must retract the word,
For the poor Pagans were not so absurd:
Their Jupiter, of gods and men the king,
Whenever he ordain'd a hurtful thing,
Did it because he was oblig'd to look,
And act as Fate had bid him, in a book:
For gods and goddesses were subjects, then,
To dire necessity, as well as men;
Compell'd to crush a Hero, or a Town,
As Destiny had set the matter down.

But in your scheme, 'tis God that orders ill,
With sov'reign pow'r, and with resistless will;
He in whose blessed Name in understood
The one eternal will to ev'ry good,
Is represented, thought untied by fate
With a decree of damning, to create.
Such as you term the Vessels of his wrath,
To shew his power, according to your faith:
Just as if God, like some tyrannic man,
Would plague the world, to shew them that he can
While others, (they for instance of your sect)
Are mercy's Vessels, precious and elect;
Who think, God help them! to secure their bliss,
By such a partial, fond conceit as this.

Talk not to me of Popery and of Rome,
Nor yet foretell its Babylonish doom;
Nor canonize reforming saints of old,
Because they held the doctrine that you hold;
For if they did, although of Saint-like stem,
In this plain point we must reform from them:
While freed from Rome we are not tied I hope,
To what is wrong in a Geneva Pope;
Nor what is right, should sirname supersede,
Of Luther, Calvin, Bellarmine, or Bede.
Rome has been guilty of excess, 'tis true,
And so have some of the reformers too;
If in their zeal against the Roman seat,
Plucking up tares, they pluck'd up also wheat;
Must we to children, some what they have said,
Give this Predestination stone for bread?
Sir, it is worse, this your Predestination,
Ten thousand times than transubstantiation:
Hard is the point, that Papists have compil'd,
With sense and reason to be reconcil'd;
But yet it leaves to our conception, still,
Goodness in God, and holiness of Will;
A just, impartial Government of all;
A saving love; a corresponding call
For ev'ry man, and, in the fittest hour,
For him to hear, all offer'd grace and pow'r;
Which he may want, and have, if he will crave
From him, who willeth nothing but to save.

© John Byrom