« AnteriorContinuar »
things always were, and perpetually continue, under his eye, so that nothing is future or past to his knowledge, but all things are present. And indeed so present, that he does not imagine them from ideas (in the manner those things are presented to us, the memory of which the mind retains) but he really looks upon, and sees them, as it were, placed before him. And this prescience is extended to the universal circuit of the world, and to all creatures. Predestination we call the eternal decree of God, by wbich he has determined with himself, what he willed to be done concerning every man. For all men are not created in an equal condition (pari conditione); but eternal life is pre-ordained to some, eternal damnation to others. Therefore, as every one was formed for the one or the other end, so we say that he was predestinated either to lite or to death.”—Inst. lib. 3. cap. 21. sect. 5.
." Although it is now sufficiently clear, that God, by a secret counsel, freely elects whom he wills, others being rejected, yet his gratuitous Election is at present only half explained, till we come to individuals, to wbom God not only offers Salvation, but so assigns it, that the certainty of the effect is not suspended or doubtful...... That, therefore, which the Scripture clearly shexs, we affirm; that God, by an eternal immutable counsel, once appointed those whom he should hereafter will to take into salvation ; those, moreover, whom he should will to devote to destruction. We assert, that this counsel, with respect to the Elect, was founded in his gratuitous mercy, without any regard to human worth; but that the approach to life is precluded to those whom he assigns to damination, by his just indeed and irreprehensible, but incomprehensible, judgment.”-Inst. lib. 3. cap. 21. sect. 7. .“ After Christ asserted that the disciples who were given to him belonged to God the Father, he soon after adds, 'I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me ; for they are thine (1): ' Whence it happens, that the whole world does not belong to its Creator, except that grace saves a few persons from the curse and anger of God, and eternal death, who would otherwise have perished; but it leaves the world in its destruction, to which it was destined.' Inst. lib. 3. cap. 22. sect. 7.
“ Therefore if we cannot assign a reason why he (God) thinks his own worthy of mercy, except because it so pleases bim ; neither shall we have any other ground for his reprobativg others, except his will." - Inst. lib. 3. cap. 22. sect. 11. : * Many, indeed, as if they wished to repel
. . . odium (1) John, c. 17. v. 9.
odium from God, so acknowledge Election, that they deny that any one is reprobated; but too ignorantly and childishly; since Election itself would not stand, unless opposed to Reprobation, God is said to separate those whom he adopts to Salvation : it would be more than folly to say that others gain by chance, or acquire by their own industry, that which Election alone confers upon a few. Those, therefore, wliom God passes over, he reprobates; and for no other reason, except that he chooses to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestinates to his sons." -- Inst. lib. 3. cap. 23. sect. 1.
“ I confess, indeed, that all the sons of Adam fell into that miserable condition in which they are now bound, by the will of God: and that is what I asserted at the beginning, that we must always return to the sole determination of the Divine will."-Inst. lib. 3. cap. 23. sect. 4.
“Since the disposition of all things is in the hand of God; since the power of salvation and of death resides in him; he so ordains by his counsel and his will, that some among men should be born devoted to certain death from the womb, to glorify his name by their destruction,” Inst. lib. 3. cap. 23. sect. 6.
"Nor ought that which I say to appear absurd, that God not only foresaw the fall of the
first first man, and in it the ruin of his posterity, but that it was the dispensation of his will.”Inst. lib. 3. cap. 23. sect. 7. • Speaking of the Decree of Reprobation, he says, “ I confess that it is indeed a horrible decree (decretum quidem horribile fateor ;) no onė however will be able to deny, but that God foreknew what would be the end of man, before he formed him; and he therefore foreknew it, be. cause he had so ordained by his own decree (1)." Inst. lib. 3. cap. 23. sect. 7. .“ The Reprobate want to be considered as excusable in sinning, because it is impossible for them to avoid the necessity of sinning, especially since a necessity of this kind is imposed upon them by the ordinance of God. But we say, that there is no reason for their being excused on this ground, since the ordinance of God, by which they complain that they are destined to destruction, has its own equity, unknown indeed to us, but most certain.”—Inst. lib. 3. cap. 23. sect. 9. “ That passage of Paul is applicable to this
point, (1) Is it not wonderful, that any one should ascribe to the God of all mercy a decree which he himself confesses to be horrible? And yet it must be acknowledged that Calvin was a man of piety, and of considerable talents and attainment. To what absurdities and incon sistencies will not the human mind be carried by a blind attachaient to system !
point, “ It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy(m); not as they commonly understand it, who make a partition (n) between the grace of God, and the will and running of man. For they expound it, that the desire and the endeavour of man have indeed of themselves no weight, unless they be made prosperous by the grace of God; but they contend, that when they are assisted by his blessing, they have also their share in procuring Salvation : whose cavi! I would rather refute in Augustine's words than in my own:- If the Apostle meant nothing else, except, that it is not of him only that willeth or runneth, unless a merciful Lord be present; we may retort, that it is not of mercy only, except the will and running be present. Which, if it be manifestly impious, we cannot doubt that the Apostle ascribes every thing to the Lord, and leaves nothing to our wills and exertions.-Such was the opinion of that holy man. Nor do I in the least regard the subtlety which they introduce, that Paul would not have expressed himself in this manner, unless there had been some endeavour and some will in us. For he did not consider what was in man; but when he saw that some persons assign a part of
Salvation (m) Rom. c. 9. v. 16.
(n) Calvin means, who ascribe a part to the grace of God, and a part to the will and ruuning of man.