N.B. 2. There is a sense in which the will of God is always done. "Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Eph. 1,11). There is also a sense in which only One Man has done the will of God, His own Son. Neither sin nor its punishment were the will of God: yet sin will not be able in the long run to deter God from having His own way, though not the perfect realisation of the longing of His loving heart that all men should be saved.8 God is not able to govern the will of man, but only his actions. Will can be persuaded, but not forced. The Predestinarian is afraid of derogating from the Majesty of God if he gives to any creature the power of resisting His will; and he falls thereby into the mistake of attributing Hell to the will of God, and taking from man any responsibility for it, or indeed for anything. The truth is that by giving man will, God has enabled him to resist His Love for ever, but only to his own undoing, not God's. God continues with His everlasting plan of happiness, but is obliged to leave His enemies outside in misery. To defy God's will means to ruin oneself, not to discomfit the Lord. Although God cannot control our wills, He can and does prevent us putting our will into action: only that amount of action is allowed to the wicked as will fit in with God's loving plan. The evil deeds of men will turn out for good: all others He will restrain. "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain" (Ps. 76,10).
In these theories the main emphasis is laid —
(a) Upon The Love of God which is stated to be so powerful as to be finally irresistible, and
(b) Upon the Sovereignty of God, which would be defeated if any were found able to withstand His Power.
All such theories break down upon the truth of the will of man. In giving will to man God voluntarily gave him the ability to withstand even Himself so far as will, though not so far as action, is concerned. This He did, since He desired the most valuable thing in the world, Love: and it is the