Robert Boyd: Was God the cause of Adam’s Fall?

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I plant a tree in a sunny spot, and such a tree as might in the course of time strike deep its roots, and bear fruit for many a year, if I choose to shelter it with hedges from the violence of winds, or to restrain the assault of the tempests. Well, though I am well aware of this, yet it seems good to me not to encircle it with the sheltering hedge, or to keep off the fierce storm-blast; and the result is, that the tree is straightway uprooted.

I am not the cause of the overthrow, merely because I could have prevented it, but the winds themselves are. I am not to be regarded as the cause of the catastrophe, though I foresaw it, and willed it to the extent of permitting it to come about, by not preventing when prevention was in my power; and both because I was not bound to do it, as under no obligation, and because for good reasons I had made up my mind to allow this particular upshot of affairs.

In like manner did God with Adam, letting temptation try him, and making it abundantly manifest what the creature is capable of when without the assistance and regimen of the Creator. Yet is God in no sense to be called the cause of Adam’s lapse, since, instead of bringing him into it, He plied his fears, He warned and threatened him; and since He neither inclined him to evil, nor put into him any sinful longing, nay, not so much as took from him any gift conferred in his creation; but only, as it seemed good to Him, denied or did not bestow the confirming grace which Adam had no right to claim.

For the reference, see Robert Boyd: Was God the cause of Adam’s Fall?
 
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