For Those Perplexed by Sovereign Election — Horatius Bonar
“You are perplexed by the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and election. I wonder that any man believing in a God should be perplexed by these. For if there be a God, a ‘King, eternal, immortal, and invisible,’ he cannot but be sovereign,—and he cannot but do according to his own will, and choose according to his own purpose. You may dislike these doctrines, but you can only get rid of them by denying altogether the existence of an infinitely wise, glorious, and powerful Being. God would not be God were he not thus absolutely sovereign in his present doings and his eternal prearrangements.
But how would it rid you of your perplexities to get quit of sovereignty and election? Suppose these were set aside, you still remain the same depraved and helpless being as before. The truth is, that the sinner’s real difficulty lies neither in sovereignty nor election, but in his own depravity. If the removal of these ‘hard doctrines’ (as some call them) would lessen his own sinfulness, or make him more able to believe and repent, the hardship would be at their door; but if not, then these doctrines are no hindrance at all.
If it be God’s sovereignty that is keeping him from coming to Christ, the sinner has serious matter of complaint against the doctrine. But if it be his own depravity, is it not foolish to be objecting to a truth that has never thrown one single straw of a hindrance in the way of his return to God? Election has helped many a soul to heaven; but never yet hindered one. Depravity is the hindrance; election is God’s way of overcoming that hindrance. And if that hindrance is not overcome in all, but only in some, who shall find fault? Was God bound to overcome it in all? Was he bound to bring every man to Christ, and to pluck every brand from the burning? Do not blame God for that which belongs solely to yourself; nor be troubled about His sovereignty when the real cause of trouble is your own desperately wicked heart.”
- Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
taken from: God’s Way of Peace, 1878.