optimist, was in fact the last man to infer that, because this world is the best possible conceivable, evil is therefore a small and virtually negligible part of existence. On the contrary the whole animus of his teaching springs from a deep and immediate hatred of evil in itself and apart from any consideration of its cause.
The thing, “he says,” which makes sin hateful, is that by which it deserves punishment; which is but the expression of hatred.... Thus, for instance, ingratitude is hateful and worthy of dispraise, according to common sense; not because something as bad, or worse than ingratitude, was the cause that produced it; but because it is hateful in itself, by its own inherent deformity.To the charge of the Arminians that the doctrine of predestination leaves no place for the punishment of sin, this is an adequate and practical reply. But the consequences of this principle of common sense are, in another way, peculiar and even disastrous to the Edwardian theology. If we are right, as we indubitably are right, in detesting evil in itself and whereever seen, and if we hold with Edwards that the will of God, like the will of man, is merely the inclination towards the best object presented to its choice, and there is no power either in God or in man above the will, in what essential way, then, does the act of God in creating a world mixed with evil differ from the act of Judas in betraying God, and how are we relieved from hating God for the evil of his work with the same sort of hatred as that which we feel for Judas? Edwards had terrified the people of Enfield with a picture of God treading down sinners till their blood sprinkled his raiment, and exulting in his wrath. The retort is obvious, and unspeakable. Nor can he, or any other Predestinarian, escape the odium of such a retort by hiding behind the necessity of things which all men must, in one way or another, admit. There is a war between the nations, he will say, and suddenly a bomb, dropping upon a group of soldiers, themselves innocent of any crime, horribly rends and mangles them. Here is a hideous thing, and by no twisting of the reason can we avoid carrying the responsibility for this evil back to the first great cause of all. Shall we be held impious for saying metaphorically that the blood of these soldiers is sprinkled on the raiment of that