Second Helvetic Confession on the permission of evil

First, a bit of historical and theological background on The Second Helvetic Confession by "Church" Historian Philip Schaff, and then by Charles Hodge. Schaff:

"It is the work of Henry [or Heinrich--CD] Bullinger (1504–1575), the pupil, friend, and successor of Zwingli, to whom he stands related as Beza does to Calvin...Bullinger was one of the principal authors of the First Helvetic Confession, and the sole author of the Second...The Helvetic Confession is the most widely adopted, and hence the most authoritative of all the Continental Reformed symbols, with the exception of the Heidelberg Catechism. Besides the Swiss Cantons and the Palatinate, in whose name it was first issued, the Reformed Churches of Neufchatel (1568), Basle, France (at the Synod of La Rochelle, 1571), Hungary (at the Synod of Debreczin, 1567), Poland (1571 and 1578), and Scotland (1566) gave it their sanction. It was well received also in Holland and England. It was translated not only into German, French, and English, but also into Dutch, Magyar, Polish, Italian, Arabic, and Turkish...Like most of the Confessions of the sixteenth century, the Helvetic Confession is expanded beyond the limits of a popular creed into a lengthy theological treatise. It is the matured fruit of the preceding symbolical labors of Bullinger and the Swiss Churches. It is in substance a restatement of the First Helvetic Confession, in the same order of topics, but with great improvements in matter and form. It is scriptural and catholic, wise and judicious, full and elaborate, yet simple and clear, uncompromising towards the errors of Rome, moderate in its dissent from the Lutheran dogmas. It proceeds on the conviction that the Reformed faith is in harmony with the true Catholic faith of all ages, especially the ancient Greek and Latin Church." (Schaff)

Charles Hodge:

“The Second Helvetic Confession is on some accounts to be regarded as the most authoritative symbol of the Reformed Church, as it was more generally received than any other.” (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Volume 3, p. 634)

Now to this particular portion of The Second Helvetic Confession:

"GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF SIN, AND HOW FAR HE IS SAID TO HARDEN. It is expressly written: 'Thou art not a God who delights in wickedness. Thou hatest all evildoers. Thou destroyest those who speak lies." (Ps. 5:4 ff.) And again: 'When the devil lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.'" (John 8:44)

Scripture is clear as crystal that God desired to display wrath and make His power known in Pharaoh. God did this that His name might be publicized in all the earth and that the riches of His glory might be made known to the vessels of mercy (Exodus 9:16; Romans 9:16-24). God actively and unconditionally hardened Pharaoh in order to demonstrate that He is not a God who delights in wickedness. God's unconditional and active hardening is NOT a delight in, BUT a grand demonstration of His power, wrath, hatred, and detestation of sin and unbelief. God does this in order to reveal to the elect His saving love towards them. The vessels of mercy know that it is the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ ALONE that makes them to differ from the reprobate vessels of wrath God has fitted to destruction.

Regarding the citation of John 8:44 by the author (Bullinger) of the Second Helvetic Confession. What if I said that God turned the heart of the devil to lie (cf. 105:25)? In other words, what if I said that God actively turned and caused the devil to speak lies? What would a common response be? Would it be, "Why does God find fault with the devil if the devil cannot resist God's will to harden him?" (cf. Romans 9:18-19)? The devil is the father of lies. Jesus said that the devil was a murderer from the beginning and did not stand in the truth (John 8:44). In the book of Genesis God said that His creation was good (which necessarily includes the goodness of all the angels). But at some point God determined to turn the heart of Satan and caused him to rebel. "Shall the thing formed say to the [One] forming [it], Why did You make me like this?" (Romans 9:20)
 
 

"Moreover, there is enough sinfulness and corruption in us that it is not necessary for God to infuse into us a new or still greater perversity."

What the author of this Confession does not understand is that for God to fulfill His decretal purposes in history, He must actively cause men to sin specific sins. I'm not certain about the precise meaning of this "infuse" language, but what is certain is that God must cause men like Pharaoh and Pilate to sin particular sins else there is no Passover in Exodus and no Passover at the cross. 

Perhaps there was just "enough sinfulness and corruption" in Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go free for a bribe? How about just "enough sinfulness and corruption" in Pharaoh to have Moses and Aaron killed? Here is the Psalm that addresses the situation in the Exodus:

"He turned their heart to hate His people, to deal craftily with His servants." (Psalm 105:25)

Whether or not a person wants to call this turning an infusion of "a new or still greater perversity," the fact remains that God actually TURNED the Egyptian heart to hate His people and then punished them for it by drowning them in the sea. You will then say to me... (Romans 9:19).

"When, therefore, it is said in Scripture that God hardens, blinds and delivers up to a reprobate mind, it is to be understood that God does it by a just judgment as a just Judge and Avenger. Finally, as often as God in Scripture is said or seems to do something evil, it is not thereby said that man does not do evil, but that God permits it and does not prevent it, according to his just judgment, who could prevent it if he wished, or because he turns man's evil into good, as he did in the case of the sin of Joseph's brethren, or because he governs sins lest they break out and rage more than is appropriate."

Certainly man does or performs evil as he is the morally culpable author of it. And just as certainly God "does evil" if by "does" we mean He actively causes evil or turns peoples' hearts to do evil (Psalm 105:25; Amos 3:6; Lamentations 3:38). So when God TURNS wicked hearts to hate His people He is showing that He is the Sovereign Controller and Righteous Author of evil.

"Bring your cause, says Jehovah; let your strong [reasons] come near, says the King of Jacob. Let them draw near and tell us what shall happen; the former things, let them reveal what they [are], that we may set our heart and know their end; or declare to us the coming things. Reveal the near things hereafter, so that we may know that you [are] gods.Yea, do good, or do evil, that we may gaze and see together. Behold, you [are] of nothing; and your work of nothing; he who chooses you is an abomination." (Isaiah 41:21-24)

Many Calvinists do not truly understand or realize that God's absolute sovereignty necessarily entails His having COMPLETE CONTROL over His creation. God is the Creator of the Universe and the "permissive-decree-and-permission-of-sin" Calvinist idolaters are blind to its implications. 

God through the prophet Isaiah is cross-examining the false gods. He is challenging the pretenders, the gods who by nature are no gods (cf. Galatians 4:8). One challenge is "Yea, do good, or do evil, that we may gaze and see together" (Isaiah 41:23; cf. Psalm 105:25; Amos 3:6; Lamentations 3:38).

The partially-sovereign god of Genuine Historical Calvinism fails in this "trial of the false gods." 

St. Augustine writes in his Enchiridion: "What happens contrary to his will occurs, in a wonderful and ineffable way, not apart from his will. For it would not happen if he did not allow it. And yet he does not allow it unwillingly but willingly. But he who is good would not permit evil to be done, unless, being omnipotent, he could bring good out of evil." Thus wrote Augustine.

In the darkened idolatrous mind of Augustine the distinction between a “willing permission” and an “unwilling permission” is an all-important one. For one view presents a “king” who unwillingly permits himself to be ripped off his “sovereign throne” by his “libertarianly free” subjects, while the other view presents a “king” who, for fear of “offering violence” to those with inalienable rights, willingly permits himself to be ripped off his “sovereign throne” by his “compatibilistically free” subjects. And since this “king” permits not unwillingly but willingly his subjects to do this, it must be in some sense, in accordance with what he has desired and purposed. This is the "willing or efficacious permission" (aka, permissio efficax) of Augustine. Thus the Augustino-Calvinistic idol is nothing and those who choose it are an abomination (Isaiah 41:24).