Man’s So-Called Freewill


The founder of Dispensationalism, J. N. Darby, was a strong supporter of the doctrine of total depravity,

“This re-appearance of the doctrine of freewill serves to support that of the pretension of the natural man to be not irremediably fallen, for this is what such doctrine tends to. All who have never been deeply convicted of sin, all persons in whom this conviction is based on gross external sins, believe more or less in freewill.” – Man’s So-Called Freewill



  1. irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · April 19, 2014

    Amen! I believe Mr. Darby (JND) taught man and humanity as totally depraved in “Sin”, but also somehow he taught and believed sinful man was also responsible before God! No “free-will”, but perhaps a kind of responsible will!

  2. johntjeffery · April 19, 2014

    “A poem found in Darby’s bible after his death.” [accessed 9 MAY 2009].

    Low at Thy feet, Lord Jesus,
    This is the place for me;
    Here I have learned deep lessons:
    Truth that has set me free.

    Free from myself, Lord Jesus,
    Free from the ways of men;
    Chains of thought that have bound me
    Never can bind again.

    None but Thyself, Lord Jesus,
    Conquered this wayward will,
    But for Thy love constraining,
    I had been wayward still.

    Tune names: Missionary, Munich, Rutherford, Aurelia, Day of Rest, Heart’s Refuge, Morning Light, Heber, Lancashire, Mendebras
    Hymn names:
    All Glory, Laud and Honor
    Another Year Is Dawning
    The Church’s One Foundation
    The Day of Resurrection
    From Greenland’s Icy Mountains
    Hosanna, Loud Hosanna
    I Sing the Mighty Power of God
    Lead On, O King Eternal
    O Day of Rest and Gladness
    O Jesus I Have Promised
    O Jesus Thou Art Standing
    O Sacred Head Now Wounded
    O Word of God Incarnate
    Stand Up For Jesus
    O Grant Thy Touch

    • jm · April 19, 2014

      Thank you for posting it!

  3. johntjeffery · April 19, 2014

    And is it so! we shall be like Thy Son
    by John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), 1872
    Tune: Eventide, by William H. Monk (1823-1889), 1861

    And is it so! we shall be like Thy Son,
    Is this the grace which He for us has won?
    Father of glory! (thought beyond all thought)
    In glory to His own blest likeness brought.

    O Jesus, Lord, who loved us like to Thee?
    Fruit of Thy work, with Thee, too, there to see
    Thy glory, Lord, while endless ages roll,
    Thy saints the prize and travail of Thy soul.

    Yet it must be, Thy love had not its rest
    Were Thy redeemed not with Thee fully blest;
    That love that gives not as the world, but shares
    All it possesses with its loved co-heirs.

    Not we alone, Thy loved ones all, complete,
    In glory round Thee there with joy shall meet,
    All like Thee, for Thy glory like Thee, Lord,
    Object supreme of all, by all adored.

    The heart is satisfied, can ask no more;
    All thought of self is now forever o’er;
    Christ, its unmingled object, fills the heart
    In blest adoring love—its endless part.

    The Believers Hymn Book, rev. ed. (London: Pickering & Inglis, n.d.), 366. Meter:

    Darby is remembered as the founder of the movement referred to as the “Plymouth” Brethren.

    This hymn is found with some variations in punctuation and pronouns elsewhere, often with the fifth verse left out. E.g., Hymns of Worship and Remembrance (Belle Chasse, LA: Truth and Praise, Inc., 1950), 195; Little Flock (1881), 18A, [accessed 9 MAY 2009]; and Hymns for the Little Flock (1903), 247, [accessed 9 MAY 2009].

    A sixth verse is mentioned in some places as “original”:

    “Father of mercies, in Thy presence bright
    All this shall be unfolded in the light;
    Thy children all, with joy Thy counsels know
    Fulfilled; patient in hope, while here below.”

    “This hymn was a favorite of Jim Elliot (1927-1956), one of the five American missionaries martyred in Equador.” [accessed 9 MAY 2009].

    Other tunes this hymn has been set to are as follows: Ellers, by Edward J. Hopkins (1818-1901), Glaston, by Evans, and Chilton Foliat by George C. Martin (1844-1916), 1897.

    • irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · April 19, 2014

      I love JND’s Hymns! And I like much of his spiritual theology, and his general dispensation lines! Simply a Godly man, but also a man of clay! He always loved the essence of the Anglican Article XVII, Of Predestination and Election.

  4. Pingback: Man’s So-Called Free Will | A Ruby In The Rough

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