Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies a Necessity
By L. D. McCabe, D.D., LL.D.
Nescience of Future Contingencies is Necessary to Safeguard the Wisdom and Candor of the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost sees now that I am certainly to be lost, if that fate awaits me and prescience be true. From all eternity he has distinctly seen my awful doom. He not only saw me entering the arena of life, but he saw himself entering it with me. He saw himself breathing holy influences upon me when the atmosphere first bathed me, when the light first saluted me, and when my mother pressed me for the first time to her throbbing breast, he saw himself watching tenderly my orphan footsteps, and then with enhanced interest and solicitude as I crossed the line of accountability, and encountered the fearful hazards of a homeless youth.
From all eternity he has seen himself laboring with me, illuminating me, wooing me, beseeching me not to grieve him, not to wrong my own soul, but to be holy and obedient. He has seen himself making these persistent efforts, to describe which even angelic eloquence would be incompetent, and yet from all eternity he has foreknown that he would in the end signally fail in all his endeavors to snatch my soul from endless perdition. He has always known that I would be finally an incorrigible outcast; and yet he has been laboring for my redemption with all the vehemence of infinite love. But what sensible man would remain at tile foot of Mont Blanc for half a century, making unceasing efforts to remove it from its base by the breath of his mouth? Equally unreasonable and indefensible is it for tile Holy Ghost to make incessant efforts, through decades of years, to rescue from eternal ruin one whose name has ever been enrolled on the immutable records of absolute prescience on the dark scroll of fate, and spoken of and calculated upon in all the counsels of eternity, as a vessel of wrath and an heir of death. All the awakenings, illuminatings, renewings, strivings and inspirings which the Holy Ghost has wrought in my sinful soul were wrought there on the clearly assumed fact of my actual avoidability of moral evil. He has made the think and feel that he himself really thinks and feels, that there is for me now an unquestioned avoidability of eternal death. What he has done for me he has done for all men, for "He is the light that enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world." But is it possible that the Holy Ghost should come to me as though he came in good faith, dealing with me in all candor, entreating me not to quench his light, not to sin, but to embrace his offer of salvation, when at that very moment lie knows that he has already predicated ten thousand specific results and enterprises upon my foreknown choice of resisting him, unto eternal death, and when, too, he knows my choice of death is indispensable to safeguard his own infallible foreknowledge ?
If such views and beliefs do not stultify and dishonor the third person of the adorable Trinity, and render insincere and mockish all his efforts to rescue from ruin perishing souls, then the human mind may instanter abandon thinking as a means of reaching reliable conclusions on any religious subject. But the above inferences are no more startlingly blasphemous, than they are logically inevitable from the undue assumption of absolute prescience. Better surrender prescience at any hazard, than to fasten insincerity upon the Holy Ghost, whom the Father hath sent in the name of his Son.