A very edifying letter by Silas Durand.
Could a holy God predetermine that there should be sin? Could he foreordain acts that would be sinful and wicked in them that he had before determined should do them? Could he determine that certain events should transpire, which would manifest principles in those connected with them contrary to his pure and holy nature, and which must even be abhorred by him? Could he foreordain a sinful act and then punish the one who committed it? These are but a few of the perplexing questions which the enemy of all truth suggested to my carnal mind, and with which I presumed to try the infinite and holy One. And I have no doubt many a dear child of God has been in like manner troubled and worried. I have sometimes found myself asking the question, “Would God be just if he should do so and so?” But since I have known him by a precious experience of his grace abounding to the chief of sinners, I have been checked in any such course of reasoning though questions still assail me.
There has been within my heart a reverential fear of God, which has forbidden me to undertake to decide what would and what would not be just in God. I have felt satisfied that whatever God should do would be right, merely because he did it.
It was not until the Lord gave me a good hope through grace that my mind was fully settled with regard to any of these questions. With that hope he gave me such views of himself as set my mind perfectly at rest as to the character of whatever he might do. He is the rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”—Deut. xxxii. 4. I felt that I could say with the psalmist, “I will hear what God the Lord shall speak.” I desire to take with childlike confidence whatever his Word teaches concerning his character and works.
All things that take place are either according to the eternal will and purpose of God, or they are contrary to it. If anything could possibly occur that was contrary to God’s will and purpose, then he does not do all his will, and he is not therefore infinite in his wisdom and power. But the Bible plainly teaches that he is infinite in all his attributes, and that he does all his will. “He is in one mind and who can turn him, and whatsoever his soul desireth, even that he doeth.”—Job xxii. 13. “Our God is in the heavens he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”— Psalm cxv. 3. “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”— Isa. xlvi. 10. “Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” Eph 1. 11. [end quote]
If you are interested in reading more from Elder Durand I have created an epub you can download here.