The Mysteries of Christianity
(Edinburgh: William Blackward & Sons, 1874), 351-352. This quote was compiled by David Ponter.
Now, without pretending that we are able to give a satisfactory answer to this question, we are not prepared to admit, what the question evidently assumes, that God can have no sincere desire with reference to the conduct of all His creatures, if it be His purpose to secure on the part of some, and not on the part of all of them, the fulfillment of this desire. For how does the case stand in this respect with His commandments? These, no less than His invitations, are addressed to all. Both are alike to be considered as indications of what He desires and requires to be done by all. Nor are there wanting, with reference to His commandments, testimonies quite as significant as any which are to be found with reference to His invitations, of the earnestness and intensity of His desire that the course which they prescribe should be adopted by all who hear them. Take, for example, these tender expostulations: “O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” [Deut. 5:29]. “O that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!” [Ps. 81:13]. “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments; then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the wav& of the sea!” [Isa. 48:18].