What is it that Saves a Soul? Salvation of God and to His Glory
If salvation, then, as a whole, be one grand harmonious plan, all the parts and branches of salvation must be of the same nature. Say that a part is not harmonious, and you say the whole is not so, for the harmony of the whole depends on the harmony of the parts. These branches, or parts, then, demand our careful attention; and if we can show them to be complete, we shall do so of the whole.
The first branch, then, of salvation is the manifestation thereby of the glory of the Triune Jehovah. Nothing can be so dear to God as His own glory. Nothing less than the manifestation of it can be the supreme end of all His actions. The origin of all created beings, from the brightest angel to the grovelling worm, can only be ascribed to the desire which Jehovah has to manifest thereby His own eternal glory. Salvation, therefore, which is the greatest act of God, must be traced up to the same source. "To the praise of the glory of His grace," says Paul Eph 1:6, "wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved." And again Eph 1:12: "That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ." "And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory" Ro 9:23.
Now, if salvation at all rest on the will of man, and depend for its final success on the power and ability of the creature, it is evident that not a single soul might be saved. Nay, if it did so depend, there is not the slightest doubt in the mind of those who experimentally know the fallen state of the creature, that no one could or would be saved. Unless, then, salvation be a decreed, fixed, unalterable, irreversible plan, it is clear that God might be disappointed of all the glory which He has proposed to Himself to accrue to His great Name thereby. And if we only allow that He sees the end from the beginning, and knows beforehand every event which is to take place, which Arminians themselves acknowledge, it is evident that looking forward to, and foreseeing the disappointment of all His schemes, He would have stopped short, and never would have devised the plan of salvation at all. Nay, to carry the argument one step farther, if God could, by the resistance of the creature, be defeated of the revenue of His own glory, He would never have called this world into being, or formed man from the dust of the earth. We plan schemes, in the result of which we are disappointed, because we cannot foresee future events; but if we were gifted with the fore-knowledge of all things, we should only commence such undertakings as we were sure we could execute. Let no man, then, ascribe that folly to God which he would not do to a fellow-creature.