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It is an act (for God is simple energy) proceeding not from any external cause, but purely from Him who predestinates; otherwise it would not be, purely, predestination, preceding all things and causes.

The divine predestination, indeed, precedes all things and causes, so far as their actual existence is considered; or it was decreed from eternity. It, however, follows, in the mind and prescience of God, the pre-existence of some things and causes; that of sin, for example, without which neither grace, as it is described above, nor Christ, in his true character, nor those blessings could have any adaptation to men. Therefore, although this predestination may not depend on an extrinsic cause, yet it was occasioned, as they say, by sin.

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